Sharp’s Galapagos e-book to launch in Japan

by PYB James | Dec 01, 2010
 The Galapagos, Sharp’s entry into the tablet market, will be launched in Japan on December 10, it announced at press conference in Tokyo on Monday.
 
However the company is still undecided about worldwide launch plans for the new e-book device.
 
Sharp will launch with two versions of the tablet in Japan. The smaller version has a 5.5-inch screen and will retail at 39,800 yen (£305). The larger one will cost 54,800 yen and boast a 10.8-inch screen.
 
The Galapagos is seen as a device that will occupy a space somewhere in between full-feature tablets like the iPad and e-book readers like Amazon’s Kindle.
 
The device’s LCD colour screen gives it the appearance of a Samsung Galaxy or an iPad but Galapagos users won’t be able to install any software. The tablets will run Google’s Android operating system, which will allow them to feature electronic versions of newspapers, magazines and books.
 
While the 10.8-inch version is a lot more expensive than the 9.7-inch Kindle from Amazon – retailing at 32,000 yen, it is in between the cost of Apple’s 16GB and 32GB iPads. The smaller model will also cost more than any models of the Sony Reader of the Amazon Kindle.
 
Sharp are hoping that the Galapagos will offer advantages through its range of content. The Osaka based company has done deals with numerous Japanese publishers to line up 20,000 books, newspapers and magazines on to the service for its December launch date.
 
It also said that the rollout of a service expansion to include video and audio content will begin early next year.
 
The precise timing of a worldwide launch for the Galapagos however is thought to be still under consideration.
 
“’Galapagos’ was chosen as the name for Sharp’s cloud-based media service business, as a symbol of the “evolution” of services and terminal devices that constantly bring fresh, new experiences to the user,” the company said via a press release.

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