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HP Selling Notebook Business to Samsung?

By - Source: Slash Gear | B 17 comments

With WebOS now in the picture, will HP center its focus on software and services while selling off its notebook business?

A report by Commercial Times (subscription required) claims that Hewlett-Packard is contemplating selling off its notebook PC business. The news is unconfirmed and based on rumors, but indicates that, due to its size, Korea-based Samsung Electronics is the frontrunner should HP decide to sell off its notebook arm. Lenovo (who already bought IBM's laptop business) and Foxconn Electronics are also listed as potential buyers should Samsung decline.

An additional report by Digitimes paints a different picture. Sources claim that a deal between HP and Samsung was in the works back in Q4 2010, and that the latter was considering the offer to offset a reduction in component orders from rivals who were understandably cautious over a company that was aggressively pushing its own line of laptops. But the negotiations were reportedly called off for unknown reasons, and have been dead ever since.

Currently HP is the largest vendor in the global notebook market, and the leading notebook vendor in the United States and Europe. HP CEO Leo Apotheker also recently revealed that WebOS will appear on every PC shipped by the company starting next year, running as an overlay in addition to Microsoft's Windows 7 platform. This move will supposedly entice software developers to create a wider range of applications that would differentiate HP devices from similar rival offerings.

That said, the prospect of HP selling off its notebook business is rather low even though the company saw lower-than-expected numbers in its fourth quarter report. The notebook team is also reportedly taking the reigns of development for the Touchpad 2 tablet, the successor to the not-yet-released HP Touchpad tablet. By assigning the notebook team to the project, HP is hoping to develop a more enterprise-centric successor.

Naturally, HP isn't commenting on the rumor. However, Forbes points out that the move would be similar to IBM which has sold off many of its hardware businesses (including PCs and hard drives) over the years to focus on software and services. HP is also expected to focus on software and services under the direction of its new CEO, Leo Apotheker.

"A move to shed the PC business would be a complete reversal of the company's strategy under former CEO Carly Fiorina, who bulked up HP's PC business with the acquisition of Compaq 10 years ago," Forbes reports.

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  • 0 Hide
    mdillenbeck , March 11, 2011 12:33 AM
    Crap... there goes the only convertible tablet PC maker with dedicated graphics. :(  Guess I should get one while I can.
  • 0 Hide
    mt2e , March 11, 2011 12:51 AM
    Interesting.....with all this HP news lately and Apotheker being in control it will be interesting to see where HP is a year from now.
  • 0 Hide
    DXRick , March 11, 2011 1:13 AM
    So, what are they planning to stick WebOS on???
  • Display all 17 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    dogman_1234 , March 11, 2011 2:00 AM
    Will Samsung become a 'dangerous' company like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Intel?

    Note: Dangerous in the sense that they have power over the market. Please do not rant over my comment but rather point out in an appropriate adult manner.
  • 1 Hide
    tntom , March 11, 2011 2:25 AM
    Like the article said "But the negotiations were reportedly called off for unknown reasons, and have been dead ever since."

    It is not going to happen.
  • 0 Hide
    jimsocks , March 11, 2011 2:51 AM
    makes no sense, since they are pushing webOS so hard
  • 1 Hide
    blakeniel , March 11, 2011 3:57 AM
    This is stupid!!! DON'T DO IT HP
  • 0 Hide
    Thunderfox , March 11, 2011 5:31 AM
    This seems foolish, as once it's done, they can't undo it after they next change CEO's. At the very least, it is premature. They need to see how the WebOS tactic is going to play out before they start deciding about the future of the company.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 11, 2011 5:31 AM
    This would be the worst thing that could happen to IT industry since Apple and IBM->Lenovo..
  • 0 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 11, 2011 5:41 AM
    good riddance HP laptops were crap now if they can rid us of there desktop PC's as well
  • 0 Hide
    False_Dmitry_II , March 11, 2011 5:47 AM
    @dogman
    You do know that you can buy samsung branded fridges and stuff right? I think in some ways they already are.
  • 0 Hide
    jsc , March 11, 2011 6:01 AM
    "A move to shed the PC business would be a complete reversal of the company's strategy under former CEO Carly Fiorina, who bulked up HP's PC business with the acquisition of Compaq 10 years ago," Forbes reports.

    And that worked out well.
  • 0 Hide
    shqtth , March 11, 2011 6:13 AM
    If this rumor is true, fire Leo Apotheker for stupidity.

    HP has good service when it comes to RMA their laptops, with a turn around time of a few hours + time of shipping. Sometimes as low as 3 days !

    HP printer market could not survive alone without the notebook+desktop market to bundle the printers with and/or to help push the printers.

    THe printer market is already crowded. And samsung is becoming a major competitor in the printer market. So if HP sold of their laptop business, they would be handing over their printer business to samsung as well, except for the business segment as they have more brand loyalty and rely on the laser printers.

    Overall bad more. The more HP products a company sells, the more HP products the consumer will probably end up with. THis strategy is working for samsung, as they have their hand into everything right down to the various components.

    with webos, HP has a chance to emulate apple, in how apples devices are interconnectible, making one device n extension of the other, helping increase sales and brand power.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , March 11, 2011 10:24 AM
    And in other news. ..

    "A reporter who could not confirm the source and was not sure of the precise details, clearly heard of a story, somewhere in Scotland, about a sea serpent like creature coming out of the water to eat up Mrs McLaughlins pet Terrier"
  • 0 Hide
    digiex , March 11, 2011 2:50 PM
    dogman_1234Will Samsung become a 'dangerous' company like Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Intel?Note: Dangerous in the sense that they have power over the market. Please do not rant over my comment but rather point out in an appropriate adult manner.


    Maybe, they manufacture biggest machines to the smallest semiconductor.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_lord69 , March 11, 2011 5:59 PM
    I would be very surprised if the sold off a very successful part of thier business. Seriously I think the corporation I work for will likely order over 2,000 HP laptops this year alone.
  • 0 Hide
    ProDigit10 , March 11, 2011 7:29 PM
    Will be probably world's most deleted OS!
    I can tell you ahead of time!

    People don't want a limited OS!

    This one may be good enough for going online, but if it even slows down normal OS booting by more than 15 seconds, it's going to be deleted anyways by the majority of users.

    We don't need yet another OS that has zero compatibility with any program out there.
    Linux, Mac Os (leopard), and Windows already is enough of that.