Sony (NYSE: SNE) is developing a fresh device to compete with Microsoft’s (NASDAQ: MSFT) highly anticipated tablet.
Currently referred to as the Xperia Sony Tablet, the device will reportedly be thinner, lighter and more powerful than its predecessor. While these updates are common for tablet upgrades, The Verge reports that the new device will also include a Tegra 3 Processor from NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA), support Android 4.0 or a more recent iteration, come with a wide arrange of storage options (16GB, 32GB, or 64GB), contain 3G connectivity and offer 10 hours of Wi-Fi battery life.
Pricing for the new tablet has not been confirmed, but Sony reportedly plans to undercut Apple’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPad by $50, selling the 16GB model for $449.99, the 32GB model for $549.99 and the 64GB model for $649.99. This is an interesting strategy considering we do not yet know how much Microsoft’s tablet, Surface, will cost.
Sony intends to compete head-on with Microsoft as well as Apple. According to The Verge, Sony is preparing a special cover that doubles as a keyboard for the Xperia tablet. The cover could retail for as much $100, though Sony is apparently planning to release two cheaper covers that will not include a keyboard.
Whether or not the keyboard cover will feature buttons or a flat, touch screen setup is unknown. In any case, Sony will have a difficult time avoiding comparisons to Microsoft’s first tablet.
Unveiled in June, Surface is a Windows 8 tablet that will launch with two different keyboard covers; one that is flat and senses touch, and another that features actual buttons. The device, which will reportedly be released on October 26, has received a ton of buzz since its mid-June reveal. Microsoft has yet to announce the price of the new tablet, but analystsexpect it to cost as much as $800.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently said that he expects Surface to sell a few million units in the next year. That is a far cry from the more than 30 million iPads that Apple is expected to sell in 2012.
Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has not revealed specific sales figures for its first tablet, the Nexus 7. Much like the iPad, the Nexus 7 was faced with shortages when it was first released. However, those shortages ended rather quickly.
Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN), which released the seven-inch Kindle Fire in November 2011, is reportedly developing three new tablets that will be released before the end of the year.