Sony: we’re going to make our own tablet OS

Sony's tablets are currently powered by Android, albeit a heavily customised Android. That may change: the electronics giant is apparently thinking of developing its own operating system for tablets and smartphones.

Most of the hard work is already done, it seems. According to Japanese site AV Watch, incoming president and CEO Kazuo Hirai says that the operating system in Sony's new PlayStation Vita handheld has been designed not just as an operating system for gaming, but for mobile devices too. Senior vice president Yoshio Matsumoto added: "If you're asking if we've made it in a way that's expandable, so that it's possible to apply to smartphones and tablets on top of achieving the high responsiveness we need for gaming devices - it is possible."

A Sony operating system for smartphones and tablets makes sense for a number of reasons. It would give Sony complete control over every aspect of its devices instead of having to test and adapt somebody else's code; it would give Sony a way for its devices to stand out from other hardware running off-the-shelf operating systems; and it would protect Sony from what some people see as a major threat, Google's takeover of Motorola. That means Google's getting into the hardware business, and while it denies that Motorola will get preferential treatment most industry watchers expect Motorola devices to become the flagships for Google's Android platform. By developing an OS that might be used on other devices, Sony has effectively taken out insurance against that prospect.

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