Sony aims for No. 2 spot in tablet devices

Thu Jan 6, 2011 10:24pm EST
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By Isabel Reynolds

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Sony Corp aims to slide in behind Apple Inc as the world's second-largest maker of tablet devices by 2012, a senior executive said on Thursday, adding that a PlayStation phone was also a potential opportunity.

Separately, Sony CEO Howard Stringer denied he was a candidate for the chairmanship of the BBC, after a media report said last month he had been approached about the post.

Sony, considered a laggard in some areas of high-end consumer electronics, surprised some by not unveiling a tablet rival to Apple's iPad at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Competitors including Samsung -- whose Galaxy Tab is out and being called by some analysts a potential iPad killer -- and Research in Motion -- which is getting positive early reviews for its PlayBook demonstrated here on Wednesday -- are pushing ahead.

But computer division head Kunimasa Suzuki said the company had ambitions to catch up quickly.

"For sure iPad is the king of tablets. But what is the second, what is the third? Who is taking the second position? That is our focus," Suzuki said. "We would like to really take the number two position in a year."

Stringer said the company was biding its time and considering whether the tablet offering should have 3D capability. "If I want to differentiate it from others, do I release it tomorrow, or do I wait till I differentiate it?"


<p>Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and President of Sony Corporation of America, is shown on stage as actors Seth Rogan and Jay Chou leave in a car from the upcoming Green Hornet movie during a media presentation at the Sony booth at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 5, 2011. The annual convention, the world's largest consumer technology trade show, officially begins January 6. REUTERS/Steve Marcus</p>