Sharp to launch ebookstore in Japan

Sharp put out a press release today on the XMDF format ereader we saw a couple months ago. I've combed through it (and the related website), and here are the high points.

  • Sharp finally listed the specs for the Galapagos ereaders. One will be based on a 5.5" LCD screen (1024x600 resolution), and the other will have a 10.8" screen (1,366 × 800 pixels) Both units have Wifi.
  • There will also be a PC app to support the ereaders and it is supposed to be able to convert files to XMDF so they can be read on the Galapagos ereaders.
  • The ebookstore should launch in December with 30k title (Japan only).
  • Sharp are also promising automatic delivery of subscription content (newspapers and magazines)

Update: I found a promo video on Youtube. It's in Japanese, unfortunately.

From the announcement:

Sharp Corporation will launch a new cloud-based media service business, named “GALAPAGOS”, to provide a new user experience, while evolving to meet each customer’s changing needs with a network service and device specifically designed for the Japanese market. The first effort in this area will be an e-bookstore service that is planned to begin in December of this year. Two compatible tablet terminals have been developed specifically as e-book readers and will be introduced at the same time.

This new e-bookstore provides an “Automatic Scheduled Delivery Service” (fee-based service) for periodical publications. The most recent editions of newspapers and magazines a user has subscribed to can be delivered and read by the user’s e-book readers. In addition, free trial versions of recommended e-book content can also be delivered to the e-book reader, letting users immediately purchase content of their favor.

Two models of the e-book readers have been developed—a mobile type featuring a 5.5-inch LCD screen that reads like a paperback book, and a home type featuring a 10.8-inch high-resolution HD LCD that allows users to enjoy magazines formatted across a two-page spread.

Sharp will continue to provide for evolving e-book lifestyles by further enriching the content available through the service, and by expanding the functions of compatible terminal devices.

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