Sony halts Experia sales over manufacturing defect

Sony has suspended sales of its Android-based Experia Tablet S, after discovering a manufacturing flaw.

It appears that there’s a gap between the screen and the case on some models, allowing water to get in and damage the machines. The tablet is billed as being water-resistant, thanks to a special coating.

The company’s blaming the problem on the Chinese company that assembles the tablets, which have been on the market since early September.

The affected models are the SGPT121JP/S, the SGPT122JP/S and SGPT123JP/S. So far, Sony has shipped about 100,000 of the $400 devices.

It’s apologized for the flaw, and says it will inspect and repair any defective models free of charge, starting later this month. In the meantime, it’s warning customers to keep them away from water.

It hasn’t revealed what proportion of the units shipped may be suffering from the flaw, but it’s presumably a significant number.

There’s no timescale for the resumption of sales, but Sony appears to expect it to be reasonably soon, as it tells Reuters it doesn’t expect the cost of the recall to affect its earnings significantly.

It’s not the first problem for the tablet: soon after launch, the company was forced to issue a software update to correct problems with Wifi connectivity.