HP Deal Will Accelerate Samsung To No.1 PC Vendor

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Samsung has moved to cost the price of a potential acquisition of the Hewlett Packard PC business by contacting notebook suppliers in Asia. The acquisition if it goes ahead could accelerate Samsung into the #1 PC slot in Australia with a combination of tablets, workstations and notebooks.ChannelNews has been told that Samsung executives held discussions with HP late last year about the prospect of taking over their PC business and that they were well aware that HP was contemplating exiting the PC market.

Since HP announced it was looking to separate part or all of its Personal Services Group last week, speculation about a Samsung deal has escalated with several industry observers claiming Samsung may be the only PC company that has the money and size to absorb HP’s PC business.

Acer is already struggling with falling PC shipments, Asus doesn’t have the cash, and MSI is too small. Lenovo has already taken over IBM’s PC division and doesn’t need PSG. Neither Sony nor Apple wants to be in the low-end PC businesses.

Recent reports out of Taiwan reveal that the Korean Company has contacted OEM notebook makers Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology to increase production of notebooks. They have also held discussions with Foxconn, the Company that makes Apple iPads.

Analysts at IDC said that if Samsung takes over the HP PC business, they could “easily” become the PC market leader in Australia. 

Currently Samsung manufacture all their notebooks in China but according to Taiwanese Research Company DigiTimes, Samsung is now looking to ramp up supply quickly, looking for an additional 40 Million notebook units by the end of 2011.

One executive said that Samsung “seem(s) like it is already in preparation to take up Hewlett-Packard’s  PC business.”

Currently Samsung is manufacturing and shipping around 10 million laptops annually. At the CES Show in January Samsung executive David Steel told ChannelNews that Samsung was looking to sell around 16 million units this year.

In comparison HP was looking to ship 64 Million PC’s and 40 Million laptops this year, which if combined with what Samsung is manufacturing will make the Korean Company #1 in PCs and notebooks.

Combine this with their strength in Smartphones and tablets and Samsung could well become the #1 PC, Tablet and Smartphone vendor in Australia.

Commenting on the event, Quanta pointed out that all new PC orders from HP for 2012 are already set and that if Samsung takes on HP’s 40 million units of PC shipments, combined with its own 10 million units, the company will need to ship 50-60 million units annually, forcing the it to use OEM partners to satisfy demand.

Hardware manufacturer Inventec, who currently manufacture HP notebooks, claims that HP’s recent announcement could be a case of it testing the market’s reaction and that the company’s decision to exit the market is not “set in concrete”.

Inventec  believes that whether HP will sell the business will depend on the market’s feedback.

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