Sharp to quit making personal computers
According to a report from Nikkei, the folks at Sharp have decided to officially pull the plug on their PC operations. While this may sound surprising, it's not entirely shocking given that the company has not released any PCs at all in the past year.
The report further states that Sharp will "focus on marketing its Galapagos tablet devices coming out in December, along with providing content such as e-books, music and video for these products." This portion is a little more intriguing, since Sharp's consumer electronics repertoire spans across televisions, video players, LED, LCD, and solar technologies.
Does the Galapagos hold that much promise? My brief hands-on at CEATEC 2010 left me feeling, shall we say, less than optimistic. But combined with the current marketing blitz that the Galapagos Tablet enjoys leading up to it's year-end release, Sharp's decision to abandon traditional PCs shows that the company is – if nothing else – focused.
Sharp's decision raises a question that's been much debated of late, that being whether it's profitable for companies to stay in the PC business when mobile technologies are so lucrative. Amid fears that Apple was moving away from the Mac, Steve Jobs underscored this past week that personal computers can be extremely profitable, pointing to the $22 billion that the Mac hauled in over the past 4 quarters.
We'll just have to wait and see how this PC/tablet/mobile drama plays out.
In related news, Sony has decided to stop making Walkman cassette players. No, really. Something tells me there will be a little less debate surrounding that decision.