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Sharp Aims to Release 5″ Smartphone in 3Q12

Sharp is gearing up for an inexpensive 5-inch smartphone for the China and Taiwan markets, particularly for the entry-level to mid-range sector. This new device, which will be manufactured by the Taiwanese supplier Foxconn International Holdings or FIH, is set to arrive sometime in the third quarter of this year.

With its size, the Sharp product will be an alternative to other handsets with similar measurements, like the Samsung Galaxy Note and the LG Vu Optimus. Sharp’s 5-incher will reportedly have an Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich Operating System.

However, the phone’s main highlight is perhaps its Retina Display that will give the device a very high resolution, resulting in crisp images and text on its screen. The same kind of display was reportedly the selling point of the latest Apple devices, including the most recent iPad and the iPhone 4S. It will also be featured on the forthcoming MacBooks.

Meanwhile, the price of the Sony smartphone will allegedly be pegged somewhere below CNY2,000 or US$ 314. The device is also though to carry tablet-like features, which would classify it as a phone-tablet hybrid or a phablet. The phablet is currently an emerging niche in the electronics industry. This factor will likely help Sharp market its product.

Sharp’s partner, FIH, is a subsidiary of the Foxconn Technology Group, which manufactures for various companies such as Apple, Asus, and HP. In the case of Sharp, Foxconn is its original equipment manufacturer or OEM for high-end models, and its original design manufacturer or ODM for mid-range and entry-level devices.

FIH itself has not divulged anything regarding the upcoming device. However, it did announce that the company will be working more closely with Sharp in creating smartphones. For its part, Foxconn Electronics, also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry, unveiled several Sharp-branded phones at a shareholders conference. On display during the meeting were some prototypes as well as some fresh phone models that had already been launched.

via digitimes