Sony may challenge Apple’s iPad with a new device

In line with earlier announced plans to offer a wider variety of mobile products, Sony is now the latest company to announce hopes of competing with the highly-anticipated Apple iPad.

“That is a market we are also very interested in,” said Nobuyuki Oneda, Sony CFO, during a recent media call.  “We are confident we have the skills to create a product.  Time-wise we are a little behind the iPad but it’s a space we would like to be an active player in.”

The iPad isn’t expected to put an immediate dent in the e-reader market after its release in March, but could begin to steal marketshare from rival companies.  Apple already draws in customers with its iPod and iPhone device and they hope iPad owners will also use the device to read e-books.

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Seeing as though Sony already has the Reader Daily Edition — a 3G supported device — it’s more likely a Sony tablet will aim to compete with the iPad only, not other e-readers.

Sony hasn’t publicly announced a specific rival product. On brand-awareness and marketing power, I fully believe Sony will be able to compete with the iPad. In real-world product use, I have a better feeling Asus or Acer would be able to better match the iPad’s features with their own devices.

Sony has had difficulty dealing with a struggling global economy, but has seen recent success due to PlayStation 3 and HDTV price cuts.  Now the company is looking for ways to tie all of its Internet-capable products to connect and share content with one another — Bravia TVs, Vaio PCs, e-book readers and Walkman music players, using a single platform.