CES: Sharp's Galapagos e-media tablet to land in U.S. in second half of 2011
Sharp announced at CES that its Galapagos tablet, already sold in Japan, will make its way to the U.S. in the second half of this year.
The U.S.-version Galapagos doesn't have a final screen size, operating system, spec list, release date or price yet, but Sharp is close to finalizing those details, Bob Scaglione, the company's chief marketing officer, said at a news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Wednesday.
Officially called the Galapagos E-media Tablet in Japan, the line consists of two models -- one with a 5.5-inch screen and the other with a 10.8-inch screen. Galapagos tablets in Japan feature a 16:9 aspect ratio screen, which will carry over to the U.S. model, Scaglione said.
Because Sharp makes its own LCD screens it can make any size screen it determines is right for the U.S. market, he said.
The tablets will connect to a Galapagos e-bookstore where consumers can buy books, magazines and newspapers as well as music, movies, TV shows and other apps, Scaglione said.
The U.S. model will probably have a few features the Japanese model lacks.
"The U.S. market product will most likely have cameras on the front and the back, for video chats, photos, video, things like that," Scaglione said.
Subscriptions to magazines and newspapers will be automatically delivered to the tablet, and publishers will also be able to share previews of other content with their customers, he said.
All downloaded media will be saved on a removable SD card, Scaglione said.
Sharp plans for the Galapagos store and software platform to eventually be compatible with smart phones and Sharp TVs in the future, he said.
"You'll be able to view your content on any device you want and that content will adjust automatically to that screen size," Scaglione said.
The tablet will also handle e-mail and offer a Web browser, he said.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: Japanese Galapagos tablets at Sharp's CES news conference Wednesday. Credit: Nathan Olivarez-Giles /Los Angeles Times