Sharp has just announced its intention to launch a couple of e-readers in Japan both of which will be available in December and at the same time they are also launching an e-book service, all under the same ‘Galapagos’ brand name, but first the e-readers.
The smaller of the two gadgets, the ‘Mobile’ version will feature a 5.5 inch LCD screen with a resolution of 1024 x 600, and will have a Track ball feature. This one will be available in either red or silver.
The larger ‘Home’ version will sport a 10.8 inch screen and a resolution of 1366 x 800 and users will be able to read text over a two page spread. This device is only going to be available in black.
Both devices are to run on the Android system, although we don’t know yet which version of Android, and both will feature 802.11b/g Wi-Fi.
Although they’re officially classed as e-readers, they are actually more like tablet computers as they do more than just allow for the reading of digital text. Users will also be able to view ‘PC documents’ as well as play games, and they also come with a pre installed ‘social app’ to share comments and recommendations with others.
The e-book service launching at the same time as the e-readers, will enable users of the two devices to access 30,000 newspapers, magazines and books.
There will also be an ‘automated scheduled delivery’ service (which you have to pay for of course) so that you get your publication as soon as the latest issue is available.
So why have they chosen the name Galapagos?
Apparently it’s to symbolise the “evolution” of services and terminal devices that will constantly bring “new experiences to the user”. Charles Darwin once visited the Galapagos Islands and what he noted there played a key part in his “theory of evolution”. Nice connection!
At the moment the Galapagos e-readers and e-book service is only going to be available in Japan and the company hopes to sell around 1 million of them in Japan next year.
There’s no official word yet as to whether Sharp will consider an overseas launch to the rest of the world at a later date. However, according to PC World, talks with Verizon Wireless mean that it is the US that will see them next, probably some time in 2011.