Japan's Sharp Corp has indicated that it plans to enter the booming electronic reader market.

E-readers and e-books have gained a considerable amount of positive PR in recent months, following the launch of Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle apps for devices including the iPhone, Android and iPad.

E-books versus print

Many industry commentators and analysts are predicting that sales of e-books will outstrip sales of ALL printed books within the next five to ten years.

Sharp is planning on developing its own e-book distribution service to compete with Amazon.com and Apple's iBooks, in addition to a range of compatible e-book devices later in 2010.

Sharp's new e-books will feature video playback and audio features, although details on exact plans and device specs are scarce right now. TechRadar has put a call in to Sharp's UK office for further information on the new e-reader plans.

Sharp has said that it already has the backing of a number of publishers in Japan and worldwide. Again, no further details on which publishers are backing the initiative have yet been made public.

Other e-book manufacturers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Sony have all cut the prices of their e-readers since the Apple iPad launched in the US back in April and in the UK in May.

Google also has plans to launch a new e-book service at some point soon.

Via Reuters