It’s now the turn of tech giant Sony (NYSE: SNE) to announce its foray into the booming tablet market with a pair of Android-powered tablets. But why two? Well, one of the two tablets that Sony has planned to launch has two screens. Revolutionary, right?

The two tablets, code-named S1 and S2, are scheduled to be launched later this year. The S2 tablet will have the dual screens instead of the conventional single screen, which helps set it apart from the tablet crowd. The crucial question: How will the average Sony shareholder be affected by this launch?

Two-point perspective
Let's begin with the S2 tablet. Why would a person be interested in a tablet with two screens? Sure, it’s innovative -- but what’s the extra screen for? The best part is that you can use the two 1024 by 480 pixel screens in tandem.

Sony's innovative S2 design in action.

So, the dual screen lets you watch movies and input commands in another, or use one screen for emails while the other screen can serve as a keyboard. Clearly, this is a next level of innovation on Sony’s behalf, but as we know with technology, more is not always better. In fact, Sony’s competitors have learned the hard way to master a few things rather than trying to offer products that are everything to everyone.  

Understandably, Sony needs to justify its delayed entry into the world of tablets with its two tablet offerings. With Apple’s (Nasdaq: AAPL) iPad leading the charge and taking a commanding market share lead, companies like Research In Motion (Nasdaq: RIMM), Motorola Mobility (NYSE: MMI), and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL) are already battling it out for the second spot. Not only that, but early tablet entries running Google’s (Nasdaq: GOOG) Android operating system have seen disappointing sales. With the S1’s design looking to be more of the same in an undifferentiated tablet field full of Android models, Sony's success hinges on consumers adopting the S2’s intriguing design or taking note of other software goodies packed into its tablets.  

Face to face: Now what?
Although Sony hasn’t revealed how much the tablets are going to cost, the company isn’t known for pricing products way below the market. Rather than beat on price, the Sony S2 probably aims to outdo competition not just with its dual screen, but also through connectivity with the popular PlayStation gaming platform. This is a distinct offering, so I believe shareholders of Sony can expect a good start for this new product since it offers a lot of functionalities that other tablets simply can’t match.  

Research firm Gartner expects the tablet market to grow to four times its current size by 2015. So, the opportunity is clearly present, but can Sony make a dent in the field? I believe it can, for two main reasons: First, it is Sony that we are talking about, the company that has built a reputation for itself in the electronics market. Even though Sony’s consumer business continues losing money, it still holds a certain brand cachet over recent entrants like Acer or Asus (which are aggressively pushing their own tablet offerings). Secondly, it is not every day that you come across a dual screen tablet packed with features like the capability to access the PlayStation, music and video on demand via Sony’s propriety Qriocity media platform, and the ability to pass on content with Digital Living Network Alliance certification to speakers or your TV set.

A Fool’s take
One way or another, Sony’s shareholders definitely need to sit up and take notice of this product. The company itself has emphasized its need to be different from its peers and has delivered on this need by packing its tablet with innovative goodies.