Sony Prepares for Tablet Launch As Verizon Leaks a Peek at the Motorola Xoom 4G

Martin Brinkmann
Jun 20, 2011
Updated • Nov 30, 2012
Mobile Computing

Friday and Saturday have uncovered some pretty interesting things about the new contenders entering the tablet market. Both Sony and Motorola are apparently rushing towards new releases, and while both are expected to appear on the market by fall, information on each is scattered.

Reports about Sony's upcoming tablet(s) are quite literally all over the place. Some techies are reporting that as many as six different variants of the Sony S1 tablet have been passed through FCC channels in the final steps before launch, suggesting that, on the day they are finally released, buyers will have a host of configuration choices for the device. It has also been released that along with the FCC check came certification of the device to run on AT&Ts mobile network, although both parties are being extremely tight-lipped about anything like that.

Of course, the story does not stop with the S1. Paired to launch at the same time is Sony's sister tabled the S2, which features a fairly radical design that is unlike any tablet on the market thus far. The S2 will feature a two 5.5 inch screen format, with both appearing on the same face of the tablet with a small break between them. This break is hinged, allowing the device to be closed against the screens for safe transport. The size of the tablet makes it small enough to slip in a coat pocket when closed, making it almost more like some mobile phones than tablets currently on the market. This design is in stark contrast to the S1, which features a traditional single, 9.4 inch screen with a body that bends back straight against the device in the back, propping it up slightly. Both devices will run on the Google Android system, and Amazon may be setting aside special room in their tablet store for them both.

These new reports on the upcoming launch of the Sony tablets come at the same time Verizon fumbles its way into leaking news about its own new tablet, which may in fact be the Motorola Xoom 4G. The leak was made through a new video advertisement for the company's expanding 4G services, and while it was taken down shortly after the mistake was notice, it has reappeared on YouTube here. Verizon is not saying anything about the tablet in spite of the leak, but the Xoom 4G is rumored to be in the final testing phases to work out minor tweaks. Still, the company will offer no schedule for release, and it is unclear what role the original Xoom might play after it walks into the market.

While the full field of tablets that will eventually flood into the market this fall is yet to be known, the Sony tablets are certainly poised to be strong contenders. Time will tell exactly what role the mysterious Xoom 4G will play in the mix, but Verizon's lasting support for Motorola will surely help the tablet out. Those planning to buy a new device ought best to wait a few months – the rank are about to fill out.


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