NTT DoCoMo has its HT-03A and SoftBank its HTC Desire. KDDI doesn’t seem to want to be left behind.

Well, sorta, since they’re announcing a phone for …October.

A Smartbook, err, a Notebook, err, a Smartphone.

The Sharp IS01 Communicator is a unusual phone for nowadays standards, reminding me of Psions and Nokia Communicators of the past, with a full QWERTY keyboard notebook-like design.

The CDMA handset will be powered by Android 1.6. Yes, 1.6, not the current 2.1 featured in the Desire. The data will get througn EVDO Rev A for 3G and 802.11g Wifi is added to the mix. Users will have to do with 4GB of internal storage, but microSDHC should give some more room if necessary.

Sharp touts that the handset can be used with thumbs only, but has thrown both a trackball and multi-touch.

960 x 480 room for TV love

More interestingly, it’s the first Android device to natively support 1Seg TV, the mobile audio/video/data broadcasting service –basically TV on your phone, regularly found on keitais in Japan (and on the iPhone, thanks to a SoftBank-specific device).

Popular social networking mixi will have an app installed, as for Twitter & Sekai camera. Quick image editing for blogging is also mentioned by the manufacturer, as to clearly hint at whom it targets this device.

Dedicated Application Market

KDDI has concurrently announced the linking of its app market au one Market to the Google Android market, adding its own billing platform in the mix.

It also hinted at a later version of an Android smartphone with touchless payment.

We’re going to watch out for this one for a review, but, again, the announcement comes very early.

No pricing is yet known.

Oh, it also comes in light blue.

Images by Sharp and Impress