You might have thought this was a prize waiting to be plucked by Motorola, doyen of the flip-phone and Android convert (my first 1G analogue phone was a Motorola flip, and who can forget the Razr?), but in fact Sharp has done the obvious, differentiating thing. By Ian Scales
It's called the Aquos Hybrid 007SH and Sharp is claiming a world first. It is a hybrid designed for the Japanese market in particular, with both standard Android touch-sensitive screen and supporting buttons, in addition to navigation buttons, dialpad and featurephone-like dialpad text entry as an option.
It's either a clever move by Sharp in an Android market looking increasingly samey and commoditised, or it's a blending of two sets of ingredients that really shouldn't go together (how do you easily move your fingers from dialpad to screen, for instance?).
SoftBank is releasing it in mid-June in Japan, but Sharp says it also plans to launch the Aquos world-wide.
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