Sony S1 Tablet : A Worthy Future iPad 2 Rival?

Sony is set to debut its own Android-based tablet by the end of the year according to reports that have emerged over the last 24 hours in Japan and the US, citing Sony's Chief Executive Officer, Howard Stringer.

Both Bloomberg (citing the Japanese newspaper Nikkei) and Japanese website AV Watch have reported that Sony will have a Honeycomb tablet by the end of the summer, one which will go on sale in the United States first before being rolled out elsewhere.

The Qriocity tablet is likely to come with a 9.4-inch display (with a 1280x800 pixels resolution) and what Engadget calls a "unique wrap design". It is also equally likely to get a Playstation certification that will put it on equal footing with the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play; there's also the suggestion that it will be powered by the Nvidia Tegra 2 system on chip.

However, we're betting on it to come with the quad core Tegra 3 (which is scheduled to be launched in that quarter) or the ST-Ericsson U9500 system on chip, which is fabbed by Sony-Ericsson's sister company.

Should Sony launch the so-called S1 towards the end of the year, it will have a six-month reprieve before Apple launches the third iPad.

It will be interesting also to see how Sony integrates it with Sony Ericsson smartphones like the Play or the arc. There's also another fundamental question; shouldn't Sony absorb Sony Ericsson in its quest for a seamless ecosystem?