Toshiba is done with Laptops! Could This be the Smartest Business Move of the Decade?
Toshiba has handed off its remaining minority stake in its PC business to Sharp thereby ending a 35-year long race in the Laptop Business. The tech company sold about 80% to Sharp for $36 million two years ago and in June, Sharp exercised its right to buy the remaining 20% of the shares. August 4th, Toshiba announced that the deal was done.
Toshiba had a good reign; in the 1980’s a Toshiba PC sold for about $2000 and in the 1990s and early 2000s, they were among the top most PC manufacturers in the world but gradually, the market became crowded and its popularity faded steadily. When it sold its stake to Sharp, Toshiba’s share of the PC market had diminished from its heights of 17.7 million in 2011 to about 1.4 million in 2017, Reuters recorded.
PC manufacturing is incredibly Competitive…
In 2015, the BBC reported Toshiba had posted a net loss of $318 million and also its president and vice president resigned after an independent panel found the company had overstated its profits for the previous six years. It sold a sizeable bit of its laptop shares in 2017 and in 2019, it wound up its nuclear business NuGen in the UK as there was no buyer for it. So it has been a tough couple of years for the formerly thriving company.
But is leaving the PC Business Smart?
100% YES!!! They say quit while you are ahead, well, Toshiba is not ahead in this case but still…
This pandemic brought about a soaring of laptop and smartphone demands especially during the lockdown period. People wanted to stay connected with work, family, friends and everything in between but that does not cancel out the fact that overall, the PC market had been struggling for a while. There has only been a handful of brands that stay above water since the preference has been shifting more towards smartphones and premium brands like Apple.
Smart Phones May Cancel Out PCs?
Smartphones are now so powerful, it makes you wonder if we still need PCs?
The evolution of mobile computing is revolutionary. Laptops have gotten sleeker and the phones have gotten smarter, making it so easy for a professionals to compute simpler and easier especially with the smartphones. Smartphones today are faster and more effective than the laptops a lot of people use. The lightness and mobility it offers has helped it in gaining significant popularity.
Regardless, there are varying smart phones geared towards varying capabilities. The beauty of this varying options is that you have an array of choices that best suit your needs like devices that either better suited for consuming content or for generating it. Many smartphones out now give users the same desktop experience you get from laptops- getting things done even quicker and more securely. The smartphone has probably already replaced your laptop without you knowing.
We May still Need the PC?
Granted there are still limits to what the smartphone can do, like 3d rendering or writing a whole book (you can try but expect numb thumbs). Not even the most advanced in technology smartphones can give the convenience of coding a website or app, a personal computer can.
Eventually, as tech innovations roll out, there is a good chance the smartphone will become most people’s primary computing device but till then users are only interested in PCs that have evolve to meet their ever changing technological needs and frankly Toshiba just was not producing up to the standard set by these premium brands. Until they can find a way to be as competitive, they will have to stick to their other businesses like medical equipment and escalators etc. and thrive in those areas.