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Rumour: Samsung to purchase HP’s PC business division?

So you have read the news that HP has not only discontinued development on webOS, but is also planning to spin off its entire PC business ala IBM style. While it is generally acknowledged by many that calling HP's drastic actions surprising is quite a bit of an understatement, it seems that there is one more surprise up in store for the PC industry, and it comes in the form of speculation that Samsung might just be interested in purchasing the very same PC business HP intends to spin off.

Now this has got to be interesting. In merely a handful of days after HP dropped its bombshell on the computing industry by announcing its plans to not only discontinue development on webOS but also to spin off its PC business unit, it seems that the company might have already found itself a customer for that same business unit. Apparently, a report posted by DIGITIMES have claimed that Samsung has gotten in touch with ODMs such as Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology about the likelihood of outsourcing portions of its notebook orders, and sources who are privy to the happenings taking place in the upstream supply chain are claiming that the Korean electronics giant's actions have suggested that it is keen on taking up HP's PC business.

The justification given by DIGITIMES for this claim is rather simple; as HP ships “over 40 million” PCs annually, any company which intends to absorb HP's PC business division will need to be able to have the capacity to ensure that the production and shipment of such large volumes of PCs is not affected. The fact that Samsung, which is usually known for its integrated supply chain, would suddenly attempt to outsource its notebook orders to ODMs have suggested that the Korean electronics company is making plans for dealing with a sudden spike in PC orders that will see its own supply chain not being able to cope with the added demand. Logically speaking, such a sudden spike could only be brought about if Samsung suddenly experiences an huge growth in PC demands, or if it absorbs another company's PC division. This brings us back to the original speculation of the Korean electronics giant allegedly planning to purchase HP's PC business.

Also adding a degree of credence to DIGITIMES' claim is a remark reportedly made by Quanta Computer, in which the ODM has theorized that in the event that Samsung does take up HP's PC business, the company will find itself having to ship around 50-60 million notebooks in a year. The ODM has also claimed that attempting to meet such a huge volume will definitely put Samsung's supply chain under sufficient pressure to justify the need for outsourcing the production of some of its computers to external partners.

What do you think? Could Samsung's actions be an indication of its plans to purchase HP's PC business division?


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