Sharp announced back in July that they are entering the eBook market. Today Sharp unveiled the Galapagos eBook reader and service. The Sharp Galapagos e-bookstore service is planned to launch in December of this year. Two Sharp Galapagos e-book readers will be introduced at the same time.
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The two new Sharp Galapagos eBook readers include a 5.5-inch LCD screen that reads like a paperback book, and a home type featuring a 10.8-inch high-resolution HD LCD that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread. Both Galapagos readers support Wifi 802.11g. The 5.5-inch Galapagos comes in red and silver and the 10.8-inch reader only in black.
The new Galapagos e-bookstore provides an “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” (fee-based service) for periodical publications. The most recent editions of newspapers and magazines a user has subscribed to can be delivered and read by the user’s e-book readers. In addition, free trial versions of recommended e-book content can also be delivered to the e-book reader, letting users immediately purchase content of their favor.
Sharp has an explanation on the weird name for their eBook reader and service. 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 name comes from the famous Galapagos Islands, which were visited by Charles Darwin (1809–1882), a British geologist and biologist. The observations he made while on the islands played a key role in the formulation of his “theory of evolution”. Deep, Sharp, very deep.
The Sharp Galapagos eReaders look pretty cool. It is not clear when and if Sharp is offering Galapagos outside of Japan.