Sharp Axes Two of Three Galapagos Tablets

Sharp is discontinuing the production of two of its three Galapagos tablets less then a year after launching them.

The 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch Galapagos tablet computers will be discontinued as of Sept. 30, Sharp announced in a press release. The devices were on sale in Japan.

When the companyintroduced the tablets in December 2010, it said it hoped to sell a million of the devices and in doing so take the lead in Japan from competitors like Apple's iPad and Amazon's Kindle.

With a bright, color LCD screen and Android operating system, the Galapagos tablet appeared closer to an iPad than a Kindle, but users were not allowed to download or install software of their choice. The device was also limited to Sharp's e-book reader software and and was introduced without a multimedia player.

The 10.8-inch model was priced midway between Apple's 16GB and 32GB Wi-Fi iPad models, and was a lot more expensive than Amazon's 9.7-inch Kindle. The 5.5-inch model was more expensive than all models of

the Kindle and Sony Reader at the time.

Sharp will continue to sell the 7-inch Galapagos model, which runs Android 3.2. Users can watch HD movies and play 3D games on the tablet. Sharp did not disclose sales figures for the 5.5- and 10.8-inch tablets.

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