Sharp has a pair of new e-readers coming to stores this December. At the same time, the company will be launching its own book-store, called Galapagos. But all is not quite what it seems.
The e-readers come in two sizes, a 5.5-inch 1024×600 resolution model and a 10.8-inch 1366×800. They both have Wi-Fi, but lack 3G, and they will connect to the new Galapagos store for books and periodicals (magazines and newspapers will be delivered automatically). But here’s the twist: both these machines run Android as an OS, making them essentially tablet-computers. The version of Android that they use is “heavily modified”, and it won’t connect to the Android Market (mostly because the screen is to high-res), but it is still an Android tablet, and you should therefore be able to install any version of Google’s open-source OS on there.
Sharp has yet to let on how much it will charge for the machines, but if it has any hope of selling in the e-reader market, it’s going to have to be cheap. Sell the ten-incher for anything over $350 and you’re going to lose sales to the iPad. The other competitor is the Kindle, and that’s almost cheap enough to give away in cereal-boxes.
We’ll keep an eye on this. Who know that Sharp, of all companies, would be sneaking an Android tablet into stores?
Galapagos product page [Sharp]
Sharp Introduces Galapagos E-Book Readers and Platform [Akihabara News]
Galapagos press release [Sharp / Scribd]
Velocity Cruz Android Tablet: 7-Inch Display, $300
Chinese Counterfeiters Release First Android Tablet
$250 Korean Android Tablet Looks Strangely Familiar
India's New Android Tablet Looks Pretty Great
Your Froyo Tablet Probably Won't Support Android Market
Follow us for real-time tech news: Charlie Sorrel and Gadget Lab on Twitter.
Fuente: Gadget Lab