"Sony's hopes of dominating consumer electronics once again with its new tablets suffered a crushing blow on Wednesday from analysts and gadget reviewers whose first impressions were overwhelmingly bad.
Among their concerns were a high price and features that suggested Sony Corp would remain an also-ran rather than a leader in the tablet market. Two versions of Sony's main tablet cost $499 and $599, the same price as two lower-end Apple iPad models.
"Consumers want tablets, but they are not prepared to pay the same amount they'd pay for an iPad for something that's not an iPad," said Gartner analyst Carolina Milanesi. "Despite the brand and different design, with its pricing so close to the iPad, it will be challenging for Sony."
The Japanese company is already late to the game with its first tablet, which hits store shelves in September, more than a year and a half after Apple Inc launched the iPad and almost a year since Samsung Electronics Co Ltd came out with the GalaxyTab.
Backed by a disco beat during an event in Berlin to unveil the devices, Sony CEO Howard Stringer brushed off concerns the company waited too long to get into the tablet market.
"We want to prove it's not who makes it first that counts but who makes it better," Stringer said.
Based on the initial reception, Sony has failed in that regard. (...)"