By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
San Diego — Availability of Sony’s 10.1-inch water-resistant Xperia Tablet Z is inching closer.
Sony Mobile Communications has begun taking preorders for the $499 16GB version and the $599 32GB version through its web store at Sony.com/Tablet. The estimated ship date for preorders is May 24.
The company didn’t say when the tablets would be available through retailers.
This TWICE webinar, hosted by senior editor Alan Wolf, will take a look at what may be the hottest CE products at retail that will be sold during the all-important fourth quarter. Top technologies, market strategies and industry trends will be discussed with industry analysts and executives.
Seoul, South Korea — Samsung unveiled its latest 7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet, but didn’t give information on U.S. availability or price.
The 7-inch Galaxy Tab 3 with Wi-Fi will be available globally beginning in May followed in June by a cellular 3G version. The product will be rolled out gradually, the company said.
The device will be Samsung’s fourth-generation 7-inch tablet and will feature some modest upgrades from the current Tab 2 7.0, which was launched in April 2012 at $249.
Boston — Strategy Analytics reported that 40.6 million tablets shipped during the first quarter, and Apple continued to lead the market.
The research firm said the number of tablets shipped rose 117 percent from the 18.7 million shipped during the same period in 2012.
Apple was responsible for 19.5 million of the units, for a 48 percent share of the market. Despite still controlling almost half the market, Apple saw its share fall dramatically from the 63.1 percent it controlled in 2012.
New York — Lenovo has begun shipping its IdeaCentre Horizon Table PC, first introduced in January.
The 27-inch 720p Horizon has a starting price of $1,699 and is available at a variety of retailers including Best Buy, Fry's, Microcenter, Amazon.com, TigerDirect and Newegg.com.
The Horizon is part of a new class of computers that sit flat on a table so families can gather around to play games. It is bundled with several gaming accessories, including a joystick and electronic dice.
Ridgefield Park, N.J. — Samsung announced a $399 suggested retail and April 11 availability of its first 8-inch Note tablet, which was intially unveiled in February at the Mobile World Congress.
The Wi-Fi-equipped tablet will be available through such retailers as Amazon, Best Buy/Best Buy Mobile, hhgregg, Newegg, P.C. Richard & Son, Staples and TigerDirect.com. Availability of a cellular-equipped version hasn’t been announced.
Los Angeles — Tablet maker Ematic today released its first-ever Google-certified device, the Genesis Prime.
The Genesis Prime is a 7-inch tablet running Android 4.1 and has full access to Google Play.
The $79 tablet runs on a 1.1GHz processor, has 4GB of internal storage and comes with an additional 5GB of Cloud storage.
Other features include a front-facing VGA camera, USB 2.0 port and Wi-Fi.
It is available at Amazon.com
Seattle — Amazon is pumping up tablet competition by dropping the prices of its Kindle Fire HD 8.9 tablet by $30 for the Wi-Fi version and by $100 for the 4G version.
Both versions became available in the U.S. late last year. Amazon cited the economies of scale that will accrue now that it has opened up distribution to Europe and Japan.
Framingham, Mass. — IDC is forecasting that Android-based tablets will take over as the market share leader from Apple iOS in 2013 and maintain this lead going forward.
IDC also upped its worldwide tablet shipment numbers to 190.9 million, from 172.4 million, due to the increased volume of smaller-screen-size tablets expected to hit the market this year. IDC expects at least 350 million tablets to ship by 2017.
Basking Ridge, N.J. — Verizon Wireless will join U.S. Cellular on March 7 in offering an LTE-equipped version of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, which comes with the S Pen stylus.
The stylus lets users annotate pictures and files with handwritten messages, draw pictures on screen, and preview a file or email message without opening it when the S Pen hovers over the file or message. Apps optimized for the S Pen are also available.
The Wi-Fi-only version of the Note 10.1 became available last year.
Barcelona, Spain — Hewlett-Packard is going to give the tablet business a second try.
The company announced the Android 4.1-based HP Slate 7 at the Mobile World Congress show, here. The 13-ounce device has a 7-inch display, ARM dual-core Cortex A9 1.6GHz processor, and a 3-megapixel webcam. It has a stainless-steel frame and comes in either red or black.
Shipping will start in April at $169.