Defect in Sony's Tablet Sparks Recall
Xperia Tablet S, the device that Sony (NYSE: SNE) has promoted as being the only tablet with a splash-proof enclosure that "protects it from wet hands and the inevitable kitchen splash or two," has been recalled due to a water-proofing defect.
According to Bloomberg Businessweek, the device is currently available in the United States, Canada, Europe, Oceania and Taiwan. Sony will offer free repairs to customers in each of those regions.
Sony has now suspended sales of the device, which range in price from $449.99 (for the 16GB Wi-Fi 3G model) to $649.99 (for the 64GB iteration). On its domestic website, Sony has placed the words "Notify Me" over its former "Buy" button, allowing consumers to enter their e-mail address to be alerted when the tablet goes on sale again.
The Japanese tech giant had hoped to use the Xperia Tablet S and other high-end devices to compete more effectively against its Cupertino, California-based competitor, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL). In addition to pricier tablets, Sony recently announced that it would sell an 84-inch 4K television for $25,000.
Sony followed in the footsteps of another key competitor by building a keyboard case for its new tablet that is eerily similar to the one Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) designed for its first tablet, the Surface. Apple has yet to design a similar add-on for the iPad, but several enterprising accessory manufacturers have attempted to fill the void.
The Xperia Tablet S received new competition last month when Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) announced a slate of new tablets. Amazon revealed that it was developing four new tablets to replace the first Kindle Fire lineup, which had completely sold out and helped the company acquire 22 percent of the domestic tablet market. Meanwhile, Barnes & Nobile announced that it was developing two new tablets, in order to cover the seven-inch and nine-inch spectrum.
Apple is expected to unveil another version of the iPad next week. But instead of introducing the world to the fourth-generation model, the company is believed to be developing a miniature iPad.
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