Despite having shown no interest in the tablet PC market in the past, the launch of Apple's iPad has seemingly inspired the Japanese consumers electronics giant to take a long hard look at its options. 

At a Tokyo press conference Sony's chief financial officer told reporters: "that is a market we are also very interested in. We are confident we have the skills to create a product".

Sony does offer a range of "Reader" ebook readers, but whether the product would be an extension of this range, a touchscreen tablet Vaio or a large Walkman PMP is yet to be seen - Sony has plenty of options as to how it could position an iPad rival.

"Time-wise we are a little behind the iPad but it's a space we would like to be an active player in", the CFO said.