LAS VEGAS – Sharp said here Wednesday that it would officially
jump into the U.S. tablet computer market in the second half the year with U.S.
versions of its Galapagos tablets, now on sale in Japan.
During its International CES press conference, here, Wednesday,
the company said it is working out deals with major media and content providers
to give the launch a solid foundation.
Two models are currently on sale in Japan in the a 5.5-inch and
10.8-inch screen sizes, both with 16:9 aspect ratios.
Bob Scaglione, Sharp’s chief marketing officer, said the company
is still determining final specs on the U.S. version of the Galapagos,
including screen size and operating system.
He said that when available here the tablets will connect to a
Galapagos e-bookstore carrying electronic books, magazines and newspapers, in
addition to music, movies, TV shows and other apps, Scaglione said.
All downloaded media will be saved on a Micro SD card, Scaglione
The tablet will also handle e-mail and offer a Web browser.
The announcement followed the unveiling of a new 70-inch screen
size in several series of Aquos Quattron Full HD LCD TVs slated to reach the
market this year, including an advanced full array LED backlit version with 3D
capability and enhanced connected apps and support services.
The company continues to leverage its strength as a manufacturer
of Gen 10 LCD panels that permit some of the largest consumer LCD screen sizes
in the industry. The company said it is a market share leader in large
flat-panel screen sizes, which continue to see increased sales.