October 5, 2012
Sony Halts Sales Of “Splash Proof” Tablet, Susceptible To Water Damage
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It´s a bad thing when a company ships a tablet with a gap in between the screen and the case. It´s even worse when the tablet in question is being marketed as “Splash Proof.”
Any Sony Xperia S buyers who took their tablet poolside (or did anything else with it to place it in splash way) might have caused some harm to their device, as Sony has said this gap is large enough to make the affected machines susceptible to water damage.
Now, Sony has discovered the cause of this case-screen separation and are halting sales of their latest Android tablet. According to a Reuters report, Sony has pinpointed the problem to a manufacturing flaw in a Chinese plant. A Sony spokesperson did not say when sales would resume, but did promise any affected customers that they would fix those devices which have already been sold.
The Xperia S is the first Sony tablet to earn the Xperia name after their split with Ericsson earlier this year. Like Samsung before them, Sony has chosen to keep their smartphones and tablets branded underneath the same name. Also like Samsung, Sony is competing in a market which is completely dominated by Apple´s iPad.
The Xperia S was announced this year at the Berlin IFA show in September and, according to Reuters, has shipped around 100,000 units. Reviews of this new player scored in the fair to middling range, earning high marks for it´s design and criticism for it´s high price point.
CNET, for instance, found that the tablet had issues staying connected to Wi-Fi networks after going to sleep and the screen would intermittently flicker, never a good sign for a near-$400 tablet.
In the end, CNET said the Xperia S tablet had an “excellent design,” but noted there were better performing tablet options at cheaper price points.
The Verge review of the Xperia S tablet also mentions price as a downside to this device, though Sony PCs have never been known to be cheap. With nearly identical specs to the Nexus 7 (and no official word if the device would support Android´s latest 4.1) the Xperia S failed to present a compelling argument as to why anyone should buy this tablet and not another. The Verge´s wrap up reads: “Plenty to like, but at twice the price of the Nexus 7, it´s hard to justify this purchase.”
Sony and Ericsson officially split ways earlier this year, sending Ericsson back to Sweden with a nice heap of cash ($1.1 billion) and leaving Sony at home in Japan to change their name to Sony Mobile Communications.
The two companies joined together in an attempt to take a significant stake in the mobile market, but just as many companies post-2007, they struggled to beat the popularity of iPhone.
After the split, Sony announced plans to integrate their phone and tablet offerings with their other products, such as TVs, PCs and PlayStation.
Ericsson, on the other hand, said: "We will now enhance our focus on enabling connectivity for all devices, using our R&D and industry leading patent portfolio to realize a truly connected world.”