A report out of Japan indicates that Sharp Corp. is bailing out of the personal computer business. Rather than manufacture desktops and notebooks for Microsoft’s Windows OS, the company will instead focus its attention on its Android-based Galapagos tablets and associated content hitting the market this December.
"Our intention is to shift from just selling the product to expand to the business model of contents services business in addition to e-book product sales," a Sharp spokeswoman told PC World.
The shift away from the market shouldn’t be surprising. The last personal computer product manufactured by Sharp was a laptop PC in October 2009, part of Microsoft’s Windows 7 global launch. By the end of the year, Sharp had completed its shift away from the sector by discontinuing PC production altogether.
Although Japan’s Nikkei business daily reports that the company has pulled out of the sector, PC World stated that Sharp would neither confirm the report or confirm if it had any notebook PCs currently in development.
Sharp’s Galapagos tablets--arriving in December in 5.5-inch and 10-inch form factors--will serve as a platform for its upcoming domestic e-book and e-newspaper store, offering consumers around 30,000 titles. The company plans to introduce music, video and other e-commerce services in the future. Sharp is currently talking with Verizon to launch the tablets here in the States.
Nikkei said that Sharp’s exit from the PC market won’t generate any local facility-related changes, as the company outsourced production overseas. Current customers will continue to receive support for their purchased products.