Not The September Issue

Isn’t it ironic that while the reading public is moving inexorably towards digital content, Sony is creating a digital gadget fashioned after the good ‘ol magazine? According to Sony, their first tablet PC is designed to look like a folded periodical, but thankfully, they weren’t looking at Vogue‘s thickest issue of the year!

The reference to publications is not immediately obvious until you look at the unit’s narrower sides. Yes, there is a kind of ‘fold’ but it is more of one you did with paper than a magazine. It is, on closer inspection, a single cartridge pleat, a neat detail that allows the tablet to stand apart from the rest that have come out ahead—way ahead—of Sony.

The fact that the S1, a project name rather than model number, is even shown (complete with media releases and specs) is an unexpected delight to Sony fans. As late as the recent CES in Las Vegas four months ago, Sony did not reveal that they were interested in the tablet as a product category. Can you imagine Louis Vuitton rejecting the making of iPhone cases?

It was a huge disappointment to followers of Sony. By then, many of us were resigned to the belief that the world’s favourite Japanese brand was no longer the market leader in consumer electronics. The S1, I hope, will change that perception, even when it won’t hit the shelves till after September, by which time Apple’s generic-looking iPad 2 would have sold more than a million units.

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