Sharp Launching Device to Compete with iPad

By: E&P Staff

Japanese electronics maker Sharp Corp. announced July 20 that it will introduce an e-reader this year that can carry text, video and audio using an advanced version of its XMDF multimedia format it introduced in 2001.

In addition to multimedia presentation, “the next-generation XMDF… allows automatic adjustment of the layout to match and meet publishers’ needs,” the Osaka-based company said in a statement. “XMDF allows users to browse the same content on multiple terminals including smart phones, PCs and TVs and also streamlines publisher’s e-book contents production.”

In addition to book publishers, the company said newspaper, magazine and catalog publishers in Japan and overseas will support its reader at launch.

AFP reported that Sharp’s plans include two devices resembling the iPhone, to be available in Japan this year and then later exported.

Sharp’s announcement follows a Sony-led partnership’s challenge to the iPad in a country where “news media had until this year taken a wait-and-see approach to the devices,” AFP reported. The wire further noted that while newspaper circulation fell only 6% from 1999 to 2009 in Japan, magazines lost a third of their circulation there over the same period.

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