Things are hotting up in the eReader market as both Sony and Sharp come out with handbags swinging.
Sony, battling Amazon and Apple in the ebook and tablet race, o launched its Reader range in Japan along with a dedicated virtual library. It has already launched in 13 other countries including the US. The move is a return to Japan for the electronic giant's e-reader business since it left in 2007 after seeing low demand at the time.
Sharp has launched its multifunctional Galapagos tablet computer in a bid to rival Apple's iPad. The device allows users to read e-books, as well as major newspapers and popular magazines, delivered at designated times.
Japan used to be years ahead of other countries in terms of offering Internet access, and provided cameras and mobile payment options before others as well as live television. However since Samsung's Galaxy S and Apple's iPhone have come along the technology crown has slipped a bit. However it is still important for Sharp and Sony to get a toe hold in that market.
Sharp's new brand represents a shift for the company from conventional one-off sales of stand-alone products to devices that will continue to "evolve" through software updates, it said in a press release.
Sharp will offer about 24,000 e-book titles for the Galapagos, while Sony has around 20,000 titles for the Reader.
Sharp is taking orders for the Galapagos only via mail or the Internet, but Sony is flogging its Reader in the High Street.