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Sony, the “Apple of Android”: Focus Less on Apple and More on Android

Sony Eyepad Patent Diagram

[Photo Credit: GottabeMobile]

Sony is currently trying to patent a new video game tablet that looks similar to an iPad (the King of gaming tablets at the moment). I have no qualms with Sony producing a gaming tablet. I think that Sony should start off its great gaming tablet collection with the Xperia Z tablet (named after the Xperia Z smartphone). The Xperia Z tablet, like the smartphone, will be water and dust-resistant — a great combination for photos and gaming out in the rain. Its element and weather-resistance is sure to make a “splash” hit (pun intended) with consumers when it arrives in the United States. At the moment, Japan will receive the Xperia Z phone at the end of this month, followed by Germany and Australia in March and Canada in April. We can only hope that the smartphone makes its way to the US by summer; I hope the tablet gets here before the end of the year.

Chris Smith from the tech site Android Authority said some time ago that Sony wanted to be “the Apple of Android.” At the time, I wrote an article stating that I do not want Sony to try to be “Apple”; instead, focus on Android and be one of the manufacturers to rise to prominence again. The Sony Walkman and PlayStation are two products that have put Sony on the map in the tech world; continue this trend with the Xperia Z smartphone and tablet. These are quality products that I cannot wait to own.

Well, it seems as if Chris Smith is right, although I didn’t want to admit it at first; the new gaming system that Sony is trying to patent currently has a name attached to it. What is it, you ask? Before I tell you, make sure that you’re sitting down on a couch with a normal heartbeat. If you’re a die-hard Android fan (which I am), it will probably hurt you. Sony looks to have as its next gaming console “The PlayStation EyePad.” That’s right: the word “EyePad” is a dead giveaway as to the product itself.

You read me correctly; this is not a misprint or a sick joke gone wrong. Sony wants to give its patented gaming console a name that users have come to appreciate with Apple’s mobile tablet. The problem with the name is that Sony wants to identify too much with Apple and not enough with Android.

Android has a number of  things going for it, particularly with regard to software. What can iOS do except send photos, documents, emails, move around a few icons, and touch a basic touchscreen? Not much. Android lets you beam photos and take palm screenshots, among other cool features. You simply cannot learn all there is to know about an Android phone in one day — giving you a two-year journey to learn your smartphone and all the neat things about it. By the time you think you’ve learned all there is to know about your phone, a new update will come and send you back to revisit your smartphone and spot the new features. It is every tech geek’s dream!

With that said, Sony is treading down a dangerous slope. It has started to make a comeback with its products; however, using anything attached to iOS in its product name (even if the spelling of “eyepad” is different from “iPad”) gives the impression that Sony, like every other company, wants to bask in Apple’s spotlight, that no other company can be as creative as Apple. That is truly not the case.

What motivation would Sony have for naming its tablet after the “eyePad”? It hopes that its sales will skyrocket, since the name indirectly resonates with consumers at some surface level. The problem with this is that hard-core gamers appreciate PlayStation and what it has to offer and do not want to play an “EyePad” when on a PlayStation console.

Did PlayStation not have an identity long before the iPad became popular in 2009? What was PlayStation like before the last four years? And what about the name “iPad”: does Sony not know of the scandal surrounding Apple and the tablet name last year? Does Sony not understand the fact that Apple sold the name with its tablet illegally until acquiring it from Shenzhen Proview last year? Now that Apple has the name, do you think it will stand by and let this pass? Look at what the company did to Samsung in its trial against the Korean manufacturer: does Sony want to be another patent fatality? I think not.

Today, my sister and brother-in-law are having their first child, a daughter, my very first niece. If there’s one thing I would say to Sony, it would be the same thing I will say to my niece Erin when she grows older: “You are unique and wonderful in your own way, and you do not have to be someone else to be successful. Just be yourself, and the world will love you just the way you are.” And these are the words I hope Sony remembers. Sony will never achieve future success until it appreciates its own sense of creativity and wonder — not try to capitalize off of a company whose stock makes it seem as though it is a “has-been.”

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