It’s hardly new to anybody that the eReader market is a place where everybody is scrambling to make their mark and stake a claim. Some successfully nudge their way into the public eye via good marketing and good feature sets, like the nook, and some simply fail in the face of so much pressure. It remains to be seen how Sharp will do, but they’re clearly interested in finding out!
We know little about their announced eReader besides that it is going to be LCD-based, has presented with a touch-screen in prototypes, and will feature an entirely new format and distribution system, if all goes according to Sharp’s plans. The basic idea of the design seems to be going along the lines of Amazon’s(NASDAQ:AMZN) recent addition of A/V integration to the Kindle software, but with a format based on an accepted Japanese standard for eBooks and eComics. This file system, a next-gen XMDF, is said to allow audio and video integration that will be accessible across multiple devices including user PCs and, obviously, their eReader tablets.
Where does this leave the existing market? Even assuming that this takes off, and the interest garnered by Amazon’s A/V efforts demonstrate that there’s a market for somebody willing to cater to such things, I think that the Kindle has little to worry about. The traditional LCD, the new format and distribution system starting from scratch, and the fact that they’re facing off against established competition all work against Sharp’s design. I, however, am intrigued and wish them luck. I’d like to see where this takes things.