Sharp’s attempts to dominate the ebook reader world seem to extend to Asia and America but not Europe. It has announced the availability of the Galapagos ereader in America in early 2011 following its debut in Japan earlier this month.
The Galapagos comes in two form factors – a 5.5in slate with 1024 x 600 resolution and a 10.8in with 1366 x 800 resolution. They debuted in Sharp’s home territory of Japan on December 10 priced at around £305 and £420 respectively - though there's no indication of price in the States yet. The American version of the Galapagos tablets will have a few differences to make them more appealing to the American market.
According to the Mainichi Daily News, the America Galapagos will include 3G radios to appease the US consumers. In a more revolutionary and logical move, the primary content format will be switched from the proprietary XMDF to the almost universally compatible EPUB. As regards the ebooks themselves, it is reported that partnership discussions are ongoing between Sharp and publishers as the Japanese company will be looking to launch its own online bookstore.
As well as America, the Galapagos will be heading to China, India and Brazil – all pretty large markets. However Sharp has not made any announcement about a European debut for the Galapagos but it could just be a matter of testing the water in the US first before rolling it out in other parts of the world. We’ll have to wait and see but we will try and find out more from Sharp at CES 2011 in Las Vegas next week.
Source: Mainichi Daily News