Another tablet line has fallen victim to the iPad effect, as Sharp is canceling all of its Galapagos tablet line with the exception of the 7-inch model. The Galapagos line was only launched 9 months ago, showing Sharp had a little more staying power despite low sales than HP with the TouchPad line.
Sharp will stop taking orders for both the 5.5 and the 10.8-inch tablets on September 30. The tablets have been available in Sharp's home territory of Japan, and were launched with Sharp's ebookstore to much fanfare. Sales have apparently been poor enough to warrant killing most of the line, not surprising as the iPad has 64.8 percent of the Japanese market. That leaves a lot of competitors scrambling for the small remaining share.
HP started a furor when it cancelled its TouchPad only a few weeks after launch due to poor sales. The subsequent firesale of TouchPad inventory sparked sales that pushed the tablet into the number two spot behind the iPad. The circumstances were unusual, but showed that if all factors lined up buyers would buy a tablet without an Apple logo on the back.
As the only tablet to make a dent in the tablet space, research firm Canalys believes that HP should revive the TouchPad line and by doing so the company could double or triple the worth of its PC division with such a move. That is extremely optimistic, but Canalys does make some interesting points in its research note.
The tablet space is proving how hard it is to break into, and successfully competing with the iPad is required to do so. Sharp's Galapagos tablets join the HP TouchPad on the failed slate list that is beginning to grow.
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