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Sharp Galapagos Tablet Preordering now in Japan

Sharp is releasing two models of a new Android tablet called Galapagos. One has a 5.5 inch screen while the other sports a 10.8 inch screen, very close in size to the iPad. Both are running Android 2.2 “Froyo”.

The 5.5 inch model is said to rival the Kindle while the 10.8 inch model is said to rival the iPad.  Pre-orders started today, unfortunately for our US based audience this was in Japan. The Galapagos tablets are coming out later this month, however it’s hard to say how popular they will be because Japan has yet to establish a tablet and e-reader market.

Sony announced that this month they will begin marketing their e-reader products in Japan and hope to dominate the market very quickly.  The iPad has been on sale in Japan for a while and is mostly targeted toward app savvy Japanese customers. Sony is releasing their e-reader to retail stores on December 10,2010 the same day the Sharp tabelts go on sale.

Sharp is offering a value proposition of tablet and e-book reader and plans to have 30,000 publications available by the end of this year.

The Android operating system is the basis for the Sharp Galapagos tablet however the e-book format is proprietary to Sharp and called XMDF (ever-Extending Mobile Document Format) Sharp is hoping to sell over a million tablets in order to popularize the XMDF format. Currently XMDF is not compatible with other e-book formats in other countries.

There is no word on whether these tablets will be available in other countries or the United States. Here’s hoping they sell enough that they will add another option to the US tablet space.

Source: PC World via Yahoo