Toshiba Exits PCs Sharp Owner Now In Control
Toshiba has sold its remaining stake in PCs to Sharp, after already selling 80.1% of its share to Sharp two years ago for $36 million. Sharp renamed this PC line to ‘Dynabook’ in early 2019.
“On June 30, 2020, under the terms of the share purchase agreement, Sharp exercised a call option for the remaining outstanding shares of Dynabook held by Toshiba, and Toshiba has completed procedures for their transfer,” Toshiba said in a statement.
A decade ago Toshiba was one of the world’s main PC manufacturers, but the brand dropped off significantly in the years since.
In Australia Toshiba became a basket brand according to observers after struggling to get traction in the PC market with brands such as Acer, HP, Dell and Lenovo stripping share away.
At one stage the Japanese Company who tried to get into the TV market but failed was also set to get into the audio and appliance markets that was untill they lost a multi million dollar Court case in the Federal Court.
Toshiba’s first laptop, the T1100, launched in 1985. It weighed 4kg (8.8 pounds) and worked with 3.5 inch (8.8cm) floppy disks.
In 2011 Toshiba sold more than 17m PCs but by 2017 this had fallen to 1.9m, reported Reuters at the time.
In 2016, it had ceased making consumer laptops for the Australian market, focusing only on hardware for businesses.
Recent years have been difficult for the conglomerate: in 2015, the firm posted a full-year loss of $318m.
That same year its president and vice-president resigned after an independent panel found the company had overstated its profits for the previous six years.
In 2019, it wound up its nuclear business NuGen in the UK after failing to find a buyer for it.
Consumer demand for laptops has soared in the last few months because of the Coronavirus pandemic and global lockdowns, but overall, the market for personal computers has been tough for quite a while, said analyst Marina Koytcheva from the firm CCS Insight.
“Only those who have managed to sustain scale and price (like Lenovo), or have a premium brand (like Apple) have succeeded in the unforgiving PC market, where volumes have been falling for years,” she said.