HP Selling Notebook Business to Samsung?

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.

  • mdillenbeck
    Crap... there goes the only convertible tablet PC maker with dedicated graphics. :( Guess I should get one while I can.
  • mt2e
    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.
  • DXRick
    So, what are they planning to stick WebOS on???
  • dogman_1234
    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.
  • tntom
    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.
  • jimsocks
    makes no sense, since they are pushing webOS so hard
  • blakeniel
    This is stupid!!! DON'T DO IT HP
  • Thunderfox
    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.
  • This would be the worst thing that could happen to IT industry since Apple and IBM->Lenovo..
  • captaincharisma
    good riddance HP laptops were crap now if they can rid us of there desktop PC's as well