Japan’s Sharp says to enter e-reader market

* Says to launch e-reader devices this year

* Readers to allow users to watch video, listen to audio

* Shares gain 1.5 pct vs Nikkei’s 1.2 pct fall

TOKYO, July 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Japan’s Sharp Corp (6753.T: ) said
on Tuesday it would enter the electronic reader and book markets,
hoping to grab a slice of the hot but increasingly crowded sector
popularised by Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) and Amazon.com (AMZN.O: ).

Sharp plans to offer an e-book distribution service and
launch compatible reader devices this year that will also allow
users to watch video and listen to audio content.

It said it had the backing of various publishers in Japan and
overseas.

The instant popularity of Apple’s iPad has spurred growth in
the e-reader and e-book markets, and global competition is
heating up by the day with Amazon, Barnes & Noble Inc (BKS.N: ) and
Sony Corp (6758.T: ) slashing device prices in the past month in
response to the threat from the iPad.

In Japan, companies like Sony and mobile phone operator KDDI
Corp (9433.T: ) are teaming up to distribute e-books, seeking to
break down resistance from publishers to digital content.
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Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) also said this month it plans to launch
an e-book service in Japan early next year.

Shares in Sharp gained 1.5 percent to 958 yen, outperforming
a 1.2 percent fall in the benchmark Nikkei average (.N225: ).

Stock Market Research

(Reporting by Sachi Izumi; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

Japan’s Sharp says to enter e-reader market