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Sony halts Xperia tablet sales after defect found

TOKYO (Reuters) - Sony Corp said it has halted sales of its Xperia tablet PCs, a month after its launch, after discovering gaps between the screen and the case that make some of the machines susceptible to water damage.

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 began selling its latest Android tablet on September 7 in the United States followed by launches in Japan, Europe and elsewhere. So far it has shipped around 100,000 of the devices. The company said it will fix any of the tablets sold and expects the cost of the recall to have no significant impact on earnings.

The latest tablet from Sony, which like its smartphone has been branded Xperia in a bid to unify its mobile devices under one name, joins a crowded market for tablets that is still dominated by Apple Inc's iPad. Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, with its rival Android machine, leads the pack of Apple challengers.

(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Chris Gallagher)

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