In a pleasantly surprising and unexpected development, the previously Japan-only Sharp Galapagos Android tablets/e-readers will become available in the US this year. The US versions will differ from the Japanese original with improvements such as the addition of 3G and full support for the widespread EPUB e-book format. There are also strong rumors that Sharp is in the process of setting up its own e-bookstore and negotiating with content providers to ensure customers have a wide range of content to choose from.
In most other aspects the tablet is set to be identical to its Japanese counterpart running Android with support for Flash, and coming with either a 5.5-inch or 8-inch touch screen. The 5.5-inch model that is the focus of our attention at Pocketables has a high quality LCD screen with a high resolution of 1024×600. B/g WiFi connectivity, 8GB of local storage, and a trackball are also included in the sleek looking devices. So far the exact launch details, dates, and prices are still unknown, but with CES around the corner, there's a possibility we will learn more very soon with Sharp also stating its intentions to launch the Galapagos tablets in other countries.
As a device that caught my eye when it was revealed in Japan, but one that I thought we would never see anywhere else, the announcement of Sharp's plans to go global with the Galapagos is very welcome news indeed.[Mainichi News via Netbook News]