The people at Sharp have announced a brand new 7-inch Android tablet that will be launched in Japan complete with an NFC interface for commercial interactions. This Android tablet will only support Japanese FeliCa cards at the start, but we can expect additional card support in the near future. This Sharp RW-T107 unit will be able to be used in stores to read membership cards, IDs, loyalty cards, and more – get some coupons to grab some awesome cheap food and such!
As far as I can tell, and correct me if I’m wrong, but this may well be the first NFC-enabled tablet anywhere in the world. Likely this is because bringing a tablet into a store with you isn’t nearly as convenient as bringing in a smartphone, and likely if you’ve got a tablet you’ve got a smartphone in your pocket and if you’re in Japan, likely your smartphone has NFC capabilities built in as well. Sharp has released several Android tablets before this, not being a group that waits for updates to OS versions, all of them running pre-Honeycomb builds – save the Sharp Galapagos 7-inch tablet that’ll be coming out at the end of August.
Of course all that wont matter once Ice Cream Sandwich is released, it being an OS which mixes handset and tablet capabilities. This RW-T107 unit is at the moment being prepared for Japan only at the moment, so we can expect a Japan-only release at 5,000 units a month starting on the 5th of September. Additional specifications on the tablet are not yet known, but it appears that it’s got a headphone jack, a couple of speakers, microUSB port, SIM card slot, and HDMI – though that’s all just guesses based on the image we’ve got. Grab it!