IS01: Sharp to roll out Android smartbook

There’s just one Android phone currently available in Japan, one of the biggest mobile markets in the world. But the HTC Magic, which Japan’s biggest telco, NTT Docomo, started distributing last summer, will soon be joined by the Sharp IS01 [JP] – which is not really a “smartphone”, but rather being marketed as an MID or “smartbook” instead.

The handheld will be offered by Japan’s No. 2 mobile carrier, KDDI au.

These are the main features:

  • Snapdragon processor (1GHz)
  • 3G CDMA module
  • Android 1.6 OS
  • 5-inch touchscreen with 960×480 resolution (Sharp uses one of their proprietary Mobile ASV Displays)
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • 5MP camera plus front camera
  • 802.11 b/g WiFi
  • Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
  • Blu-ray recorder connectivity
  • One-Seg digital TV tuner
  • 4GB of internal memory
  • microSD/microSDHC slot
  • mini USB port
  • Augmented Reality app “Sekai Camera” pre-installed
  • available in blue or black
  • weight: 227g
  • size: 83×149×17.9mm

The IS01 is scheduled to ship in Japan at the beginning of June. Sharp hasn’t said yet whether it will ever find its way outside Japan, but it’s not impossible.

And in case you wonder why the handheld looks like it does: In Japan, Sharp has been selling electronic dictionaries with the same basic design for years now (and is poised to confuse a lot of potential customers over here for that reason).

Via IT Media [JP]