Allow me to address the flip side of your question by saying I can think of a few product developments from the old days at Motorola in which management tried to kill a project but certain engineers refused to let it die and it became a "skunk works" for awhile, only to later get resurrected, become a successful product and make some other manager a hero -- usually not the same manager who previously tried to kill it.
Hi, D-FlipFlop. I apologize if it strikes you that I am intent on finding negative stories on Japan. Actually, I am not. But things are tough in Japan right now. Especially the nation's electronics industry. Hard to find a rosy picture right now.
Take heart. Even if that Sony tablet could have survived, it would have been built in China anyway. Just like iPads. I agree that the price point was way off, though.
I've certainly experienced clueless management that refused to invest development money in a product, and almost let it die. Fortunately for me, such managers do get replaced eventually, so it was a matter of keeping the product on life support until a better manager came along. And in my case, it was literally a case of cluelessness. An inability to see the product in the universe of similar, competing ones.
On this Sont product specifically, I couldn't tell from the description whether it used standard Internet Protocol over WiFi, or some proprietary Sony scheme. The mention of "15 Mb/s max" confused me, as that is not a maximum of 802.11 a, or b, or g. So if Sony was trying to sell a proprietary solution, as they have done in other products at times, that might also have contributed to its low appeal.