Sharp seems to be readying another one of their entries into the tablet wars. A first look at a 7-inch Android tablet which will be marketed under its Galapagos brand name is already available. The 7-inch size comfortably puts it in between Sharp’s other offerings in the tablet market, which are at 5.5- and 10.8-inches respectively. It’s already undergoing review at the FCC – though the details are a bit sketchy. The only confirmed bit of data is that it will come with a WiFi-radio.
This means that the upcoming Android tablet will probably be not packing 3G/4G radio – limiting its Internet options. Be prepared that this tablet will most likely not have built-in mobile broadband. Still, Sharp can deliver the option at a future launch date. This could be a good thing though. WiFi-only models are notoriously cheap and in the current competitive tablet market, a price point can seriously help a tablets chances. A good example of why this is important is what happened to the Motorola Xoom, which had 3G and was later hardware-upgradable to 4G LTE at a later point for free. It was tagged at $799 – which made it seem too expensive against the $500 price tag of a 16 GB WiFi-only iPad. Although Motorola came out with a cheaper WiFi-version, the damage had already been done.
Right now, analysts expect that the new tablet will be packing Android 2.4. Right now the company seems to be packaging its tablets more as e-readers, with the ability access to content stores for newspapers, magazines, books, and journals. A 7-inch model would be a welcome addition to this market strategy, not too small and not too big for reading and media entertainment.