Sharp has begun shipping its IS01 smartbook to developers in Japan, while a consumer release is planned for June - sooner than the previously expected October launch. The developer version, JN-DK01, ships with an SDK, access to the Android SH Developers Square site, and contains Android 1.6 API along with Sharp's own extended API for "infrared data transfer, LED flashlight, camera, opening and closing [notifications], and file picker."

The IS01 is more compact than a conventional netbook-style device, toting a 5-inch 960x480 capacitive multitouch display, a trackball, 4GB of internal storage which is expandable via microSD, and a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Other specs include an FM transmitter, 1Seg digital TV tuner, as well as EVDO modem and phone functionality, but developers won't have access to all those features initially - if ever, according to Pocketables.

It's worth noting that the unit has no Google apps, such as Gmail and YouTube, nor does it provide access to the Android Market. There's no word on pricing or availability to other regions.