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Sony to unveil two tablet computers

Sony Corp. introduced its first tablet computers, joining Samsung Electronics Co. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. in their pursuit of Apple Inc., a year after the iPad spurred a surge in demand for the devices.

Sony will use Google Inc.’s Android operating system for the personal computers, Kunimasa Suzuki, Sony’s head of personal computers, said in Tokyo today. The S1 model will feature a 9.4- inch liquid-crystal display, as well as front and rear cameras. The S2 laptop-shaped model will have dual 5.5-inch screens and feature cameras, Sony said.

The Japanese electronics maker aims to compete in the crowding market for tablet computers, the fastest-growing segment of the consumer-electronics industry. Tablet PC sales will reach $49 billion by 2015 as consumers flock to devices that bridge the gap between smartphones and laptops, according to estimates this month by research firm Strategy Analytics.

Apple’s iPad 2 debuted in the U.S. on March 11, equipped with cameras and a more powerful processor, starting at $499. Apple sold a total of 14.8 million iPads through December, generating $9.6 billion in sales since its introduction in April last year.

Tablet sales surged to more than 10.3 million units last year from 90,000 in 2009, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. That rate of adoption tops those of game consoles and smartphones, according to the Arlington, Virginia-based trade organization.

(Bloomberg)

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