Sharp working on two e-book readers

Seems everyone’s talking about tablet PCs and e-book readers, rushing to announce plans of the next touch screen mobile slate. Now Japanese firm Sharp is gearing up its efforts.

The company is working on two tablet e-books, one will be larger than the iPad with a 10.8 inch LD touch screen and will be priced competitively. However rather than plain copying Apple’s toy, it is focusing on the Japanese market with its own format, XMDF, which is built to work specifically with the Japanese language.  

Sharp plans to be involved in the whole process, content acquisition through to sales and says it has already grabbed contracts with publishers for content, reports Nikkei.

It’s a smart idea to aim tablets at the domestic market for Sharp. Currently all the hype is about the iPad and the Eee, but these devices aren’t easily configured for the language shift. Sony is planning on entering the Japanese market with a language specific slate as well.

It’ll be interesting to see if Chinese manufacturers go for making Chinese language specific tablet PCs too. The iPad would no doubt be a hit in China but we have heard reports that Apple is making it difficult to flog the machines over there. Still, the Western consumer interacts with the internet differently to the Chinese market, way beyond language. Affordable, domestically targeted tablet PCs and e-readers could be a big hit.