The problem with the tablet, which is supposed to be water resistant, is the result of a manufacturing flaw at the Chinese plant where it is fabricated, said Sony spokeswoman Noriko Shoji. Sony has not yet decided when it will resume sales, she added.
Sony confirmed that it would fix the issue for any of the 100,000 devices it has shipped since the tablet went on sale in September. On Sony’s website, the company apologized to customers and confirmed the limited number of units affected “may not meet the splash proof specification.” It also provided information on a recall and repair program:
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It’s important to note that all other functions of the device still work and can continue to be used by customers as intended. As a precaution and to protect your product, please be sure not to use your Xperia Tablet S where water may splash onto it.
We are preparing a free inspection program for customers who have purchased this product, and we will repair, replace, or refund affected devices at no charge. We expect to post a program announcement, with details and instructions, on this page by the end of October 2012 (when parts are available). Please register your device athttps://productregistration.sel.sony.com to receive updates regarding the program.
PCMag received an email statement from the company, explaining the issue lies in a “defect that leaves a gap in the rear display panel.” Retailers are also being asked to inspect their stock:
“Sony strives to design high-quality products and is committed to providing a positive customer experience. Unfortunately, we have identified that a limited number of our new Xperia Tablet S released in September 2012 may not meet our splash-proof specification,” a company spokeswoman said in an email. “As a result, we have asked retailers to stop selling Xperia Tablet S immediately, until we have had the opportunity to inspect and replace stock with product that meets our stringent quality standards.”