Sony suspends sales of new Xperia Tablet S, not as splash-proof as first thought

Sony Xperia Tablet S reviewSony has been forced to suspend sales of its new Xperia Tablet S device after the discovery of gaps between the case and the screen, which could potentially let in water.

The tablet, marketed as “splash-proof”, is evidently not as splash-proof as first thought, with the Japanese company citing a manufacturing flaw at one of its Chinese plants as the cause of the design fault.

Sony spokesperson Noriko Shoji told Reuters that it was impossible to say when it would resume sales of the tablet. For anyone that has already bought the device, the company said it will repair it for free, though with only 100,000 units shipped so far, the recall is unlikely to prove costly for Sony – in financial terms, at least. However, for a company that prides itself on the quality and design of its products, the development will definitely come as an embarrassment to the electronics firm.

Interestingly, in an in-depth review of the new Xperia Tablet S posted on this site only yesterday, DT’s mobile expert Jeffrey Van Camp cited a number of manufacturing issues which let the tablet down, highlighting a sub-standard design which has ultimately led to its recall.

The Android-powered tablet, which has only been in stores a month, features a Tegra 3 processor, 9.4-inch screen, up to 64GB of storage and an 8-megapixel rear camera.

Its splash-proof feature is, according to Sony’s own website, a clear selling point of the device. A page (pdf) for the tablet on the company’s online store compares it with Apple’s big-selling iPad. Among the 16 comparison points listed is “splash-proof”. For the iPad it says simply “unpublished”.

Following a tough few years, Sony is currently making big changes to its internal structure in a bid to re-establish itself as a leading player in the electronics market. While news of today’s recall will not be considered a major issue, it is of course another headache it could well do without.