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Sharp cuts back on the tablets

Japanese gizmo maker Sharp is backing out of the the tablet market, since so few consumers noticed it was in it.

Sales of its Galapagos tablet have been so poor the company is killing off two of its three models, nine months after the device was launched.

Sharp said it will halt production of 5.5-inch and 10.8-inch screens, but plough ahead with the seven-inch model

The outfit has declined to give sales figures for the range but says its early days yet in the rapidly expanding market for proddable slabs of computer.

"This is a new and expanding market. Many new products and services have been launched. We believe (the older editions) have fulfilled the purposes that they were designed for," a Sharp spokeswoman told AFP. said.

"We believe the market for electronic books will continue to expand. We are continuing our business in the segment" with the 7-inch model, the Sharp spokeswoman said.

Sharp only launched Galapagos in December 2010 but failed to make a dent in sales of Apple's iPad in Japan.