Sharp’s announcement of two e-readers for the Japanese market comes packaged with clever wordage about going from a focus on one-time sales of hardware, to a more customer oriented device that evolves through continuously updating software.
It will need to make all that and more come true if it wants to compete with Amazon’s Kindle and the Nook from Barnes and Noble. And it seems to be in the plan, with Sharp wanting to eventually take full advantage of the Android platform driving both e-readers, and showing the intention to deliver full multimedia content – music, video/film and games. This would also pit the devices against the iPad.
So is it a tablet, is it an e-reader? Called ‘Galapagos’, supposedly to reference the island that inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution, it could evolve to be a bit of both. The smaller version of the Galapagos will have a 5.5 inch screen and a resolution of 1024 x 600 pixels with single-handed navigation through the use of a trackball. The larger kind comes in at 10.8 inches with a 1366 x 800 pixel display, capable of showing a magazine spread type two page format.
Both models will have 802.11b/g Wi-Fi connectivity with “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” for getting your newspapers and magazines automatically once you’ve subscribed to them. XMDF support will allow the integration of multimedia elements into pages.
A Japanese e-book store will initially contain 30.000 titles, and Verizon and Sharp are in talks about a Verizon Wireless U.S launch of the devices.