Sharp to bring Galapagos tablet to Europe

21 Dec 2010

Sharp is looking to bring its e-reading media tablet, the Galapagos, to Europe, to rival the iPad and the Sony Reader.

According to The Financial Times, after it releases the e-reading tablet in the US in 2011, it will bring it to Europe.

There was no solid European release date given for the tablet, which is available as a 5.5-inch or 10.8-inch device. It will launch in Japan this month, with the US to follow next year.

Sharp wants to take on Sony and Apple in the e-reading arena and is aiming to sell it as a media tablet, combing reading with other media activities. The Sharp Galapagos will be a Wi-Fi only device and will run on the Android operating system.

The company will have an e-book store, offering 30,000 books, magazines and newspapers at first. It will expand the store to sell movies, music and games and the tablet will offer social networking functionality.

However, according to Atul Goyal, a senior analyst at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Singapore, he is unconvinced it will be a success.

“I wonder how this company will make money in this product category when they are one of the many crowded participants, without any competitive advantage, with an expensive price tag, and with no brand power,” said Goyal.

However, Sharp is confident it will do well, aiming to sell 1 million units by next year.