Sony halts sale of Xperia Tablet S

Sony has halted sales of its Xperia Tablet S due to a manufacturing flaw less than one month after the Android-based slate went on sale.

The stop comes after Sony discovered the Xperia Tablet S has a gap between the screen and the case that could leave the device open to water damage. Sony's Tablet S is supposed to feature a splash-proof screen. Sony is offering a free inspection program for tablets that have already been sold in the U.S. The company also advises users to be wary of using the Xperia Tablet S near water.

“The affected products do not pose any risk to the safety of consumers, who can continue to enjoy all the other features and the performance of their Xperia Tablet S,” Sony's U.K. Press office said in a statement to TechHive/PCWorld.

But Sony's U.S. representatives confirm that sales have been suspended, and that the company is asking retailers to stop selling the tablet "until we have had the opportunity to inspect and replace stock with product that meets our stringent quality standards," a spokesperson says.

"Unfortunately, we have identified that a limited number of our new XperiaTM Tablet S released in September 2012 may not meet our splash-proof specification," a spokesperson told TechHive/PCWorld, adding, "We believe this issue does not present a safety concern," and that all other tablet functions are operating properly.

A note on Sony's support site says the problem affects all current Xperia Tablet S devices with the following model numbers:

SGPT121US/S

SGPT122US/S

SGPT123US/S

SGPT121US/MC

SGPT122US/KB

Still Selling

Some U.S. retailers were still selling the Xperia Tablet S on their websites as of 8 a.m. Eastern Time Friday, including Best Buy and Amazon. Sony's online store currently lists the Tablet S as “Coming Soon.” The Xperia Tablet S first went on sale in the United States on September 7 with sales starting at $400 for the 16GB version.

Sony's Xperia Tablet S features a 9.4-inch display with 1280 by 800 resolution; 16, 32, or 64GB of storage; a 1.3GHz quad-core Tegra 3 processor; 8 megapixel rear-facing camera; 1 megapixel Webcam; SDHC slot; Bluetooth 3.0; 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi; and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.

The Xperia Tablet S is Sony's first slate to include the Xperia moniker after Sony bought out Ericsson from the two companies' mobile phone partnership, Sony-Ericsson, in late 2011. Sony said at the time that it planned to more tightly integrate its smartphones and tablets with other Sony products including laptops and televisions.

On its own site, Sony still has a listing for the Xperia Tablet S

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