Sony’s first tablet computer will hit the Japanese market on September 17 as the company looks to take on Apple’s popular iPad, the electronics giant said Thursday.
The Sony Tablet will be powered by Google’s Android software, allowing users to download content such as books, movies and games.
The Sony Tablet “S” series with a 9.4-inch (23.8 centimetre) touchscreen display is expected to have a price tag of 45,000 yen ($580) for a 16-gigabyte data storage model and 53,000 yen for the 32-gigabyte version.
The product will also become available in US and European markets later this month, with a price tag of $499 and 479 euros for the 16-gigabyte model.
Competitors have rushed to cash in on soaring demand for tablets since the iPad was released in April last year, but Sony’s devices will arrive well behind those of its rivals.
The devices will have access to Sony’s cloud of online content such as movies, music, digital books, PlayStation games and other entertainment.
Sony has focused more on pushing its content such as games and music through hardware platforms including game consoles, smartphones and tablet computers.
It will release the dual-screened “P” series with a folding design, incorporating two 5.5-inch screens in Japan between October and November. The series will be launched in November in Europe and sometime later this year in the United States.
“Sony aims to grab the No. 1 share of the growing Android-based tablet market (in Japan) in fiscal 2012 (ending March 2013),” Kyodo News quoted Akihiro Matsubara, corporate vice president of Sony Marketing Inc, as saying.
Sony shares rose 1.98 percent to 1,698 yen in Tokyo trade on Thursday.