Sharp, one of Japan's biggest makers of electronics, will scrap its Galapagos tablet on the market less than a year. The move demonstrates the market strength of Apple's iPad line.
The move illustrates the complexities of the industry because Apple plans to use Sharp retina displays in the iPad 3 and also may invest in a Sharp LCD plant to assure supplies.
Sharp Galapagos tablet sales were only a few hundred thousand. A drawback for the consumer product was that it ran on a Sharp OS, which impeded others from devising apps for it.
Last month, Hewlett-Packard discontinued its TouchPad line of tablets running the Web OS acquired from Palm last year. Now HP is running a fire sale second run of the line.
The Sharp and HP exits seem to indicate future tablets will be powered by OS developed by either Apple, Google or Microsoft. A promised entry by Amazon is expected to run on Google's Android OS.
IHSiSuppli estimates Apple iPads will account for 74 percent of total market shipments of 60 million units this year.
Sharp's American Depository Receipts closed at $7.87 Thursday, up 1.8 percent.