The tablets are based around a Sharp e-book format called XMDF (ever-eXtending Mobile Document Format). It supports embedded video and allows the size of text to be changed without affect to the format of the page, but it's incompatible with formats used in other countries.
If Sharp succeeds in selling a million tablets, it could popularize XMDF and result in the Japan market evolving differently from other countries. The same thing happened a decade ago with I-mode on cell phones and helped popularize the use of the term "Galapagos" to refer to products or technologies that have evolved differently in Japan from the rest of the world.
Sharp says that's not the intention this time and Galapagos was chosen to "represent a global-standard tablet terminal with cutting-edge technology and know-how cultivated in Japan."
Time will tell how suitable the name turned out to be.
Sharp plans to sell the Galapagos tablets overseas but has yet to detail launch dates, locations and prices.
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