Sharp made an announcement that it will be introducing a cloud-based media manufacturing, named Galapagos, to the Japanese market in December 2010, with two, tablet-style e-books.
Galapagos will initially be an e-book bookstore with emphasis on periodicals, but more content will be available over time.
The test will launch with approximately 30,000 books, magazines, and newspapers, and will feature an automated daily delivery service for periodicals, as well as free trials of books. Galapagos will allow users to mark items in periodicals or books as favorites, recommend them to others, and have their newspaper downloaded automatically every morning.
Sharp also initiated two devices to support the Galapagos service, both called the Galapagos Ebook Reader. Sharp will offer a 10.8-inch model and a 5.5-inch model, both of which will include high-resolution LCD screens, integrated Wi-Fi, and a Web browser, making them a mix between tablet devices and e-book readers. The 5.5-inch version will be available in red and silver, while the 10.8-inch model will come in black.
On launch in December, the Galapagos hardware and software will only be available in Japan. Pricing was not announced, nor was possible U.S. availability.