Sharp, which was a longtime manufacturing partner for Danger’s Sidekick line of phones, was replaced by T-Mobile when that carrier switched the Sidekick line to Android and chose Samsung instead. However, it looks like Sharp may not be done with the Sidekick form factor with a sliding screen mechanism over a landscape oriented QWERTY keyboard as the Japanese manufacturer may be releasing the Sharp FX Plus with Google’s Android OS for U.S. wireless carrier AT&T.
After a leaked rendering appeared several months ago, the device is now pictured in a Walmart advertisement, though launch date and pricing are still unknown variables at this time.
The device will feature 4 Android hardware navigation button rather than capacitive touch buttons that are placed beneath the screen, and will launch with Android 2.2 Froyo that will presumably be updated to Android 2.3 Gingerbread in the future. The phone will most likely target the entry-level and mid-range demographic that rely on heavy texting and emailing.
In addition to this keyboarded Android entry from Sharp, AT&T is also expected to carry a keyboarded version of the Samsung Galaxy S II, which will slot nicely into the carrier’s high-end offering in its portfolio.