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Samsung considering purchase of HP’s PC business - report

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Samsung is reportedly considering outsourcing notebook production to Taiwan-based OEMs, a move which sources attribute to the companys unofficial interest in purchasing HPs PC business [updated with Samsung response].

Update: Samsung said Wednesday that it has no intention of buying HP's PC business, as noted by MarketWatch.

DigiTimes reports that Samsung contacted Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology in August to evaluate the possibility of outsourcing notebook orders. The South Korean company, which usually works with China-based notebook makers, is said to consider ordering a small volume of notebooks from these Taiwan-based companies in the future.

The same sources suggest that Samsung may make a move for HPs PC business, although, considering the publication's hit and miss record, such rumors can not be verified at this point.

HP recently announced plans to cancel webOS hardware development as well as an interest in spinning off its PC business in order to focus on software instead. If Samsung were to take over HPs PC business it would need to rely on Taiwan-based companies to build HPs 40 million units of PC orders in 2011. Also important is the fact that PC orders from HP are "already set" for 2012 at least for Quanta.

Of those 40 million PCs, Quanta is said to be responsible for 20 million units with Foxconn Electronics, Inventec, Wistron and Compal expected to build eight million, seven million, 3-4 million and two million units, respectively. Samsung would also manufacture 10 million PC units of its own, which would bring the total number of shipped units close to 50-60 million per year, a number out of Samsung's reach. The company would therefore have to rely on OEM partners to meet that PC quota, Quanta reportedly believes.

According to a DisplaySearch report, Apple surpassed HP in the second quarter of 2011 to become the number one mobile PC vendor in the world. Apple shipped 13.6 million personal computers and iPads in Q2 compared to HPs 9.7 million units sold during the same period. Samsung was not included in this list of top five mobile PC vendors compiled by DisplaySearch, which saw Dell, Acer and Lenovo occupy the third, fourth and fifth positions, behind Apple and HP.

Samsung, a long-time supplier for Apple, is becoming an important rival for the Cupertino-based company in the mobile business, thanks to its popular Android smartphone and tablet lines. Also worth mentioning are some of its current notebooks, specifically the Samsung Series 9 line, considered to be a Windows-based alternative to Apples MacBook Air models.

Apple is seeking to block Samsung in various patent infringement legal disputes in the USA and in other international markets, as a direct result of the growing rivalry between iOS devices, such as the iPhone and the iPad and their Android counterparts made by the South Korean company, namely Galaxy S smartphones and Galaxy Tab tablets.

post #2 of 27
If Samsung bought HP's computer manufacturing division would they keep the HP name for the first batch of products that were already in the pipeline for HP? Would they decide to just change the faceplate name? The side of my HP computer has HP embossed on it and the front cover has a plastic logo molded into it. Those would be easy to change.

I wonder if Samsung would change the name of HP to something else that sounded more American or European. Would they dump all of the HP staff and just take over the physical plant items? It will be interesting to see what happens no matter who buys HP.

Does HP have really good patents that would help them sell computers over their competition?

I wish more large manufacturers would copy the Mac Mini only with more common sense. Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.

That would be a no-no, Apple relies on "form over function". Ports on the front would blow the ascetics!
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

That would be a no-no, Apple relies on "form over function". Ports on the front would blow the ascetics!

I wouldn't think an ascetic would use a computer. If one ever did it would probably be a used netbook. Ascetics probably wouldn't consent to be blown either. Just say'in.
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

If Samsung bought HP's computer manufacturing division would they keep the HP name for the first batch of products that were already in the pipeline for HP? Would they decide to just change the faceplate name? The side of my HP computer has HP embossed on it and the front cover has a plastic logo molded into it. Those would be easy to change.

I wonder if Samsung would change the name of HP to something else that sounded more American or European. Would they dump all of the HP staff and just take over the physical plant items? It will be interesting to see what happens no matter who buys HP.

Does HP have really good patents that would help them sell computers over their competition?

I wish more large manufacturers would copy the Mac Mini only with more common sense. Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.

It is my understanding that HP is only outsourcing their manufacturing. Basically, instead of owning their own factories, they will contract OEMs to manufacture computers for them.

In HP's statement, they said they want to concentrate on research, development, design... rather than on manufacturing. Which should mean their name will remain on desktops and laptops.

It is also noted in that statement that HP has been outsourcing their manufacturing since 1995 or so. Even if they still have factories under their name, a lot of HP hardware is already being made by Foxcon and other OEMs. I'm guessing those OEMs have lower production costs than HP factories, especially those in North America and Europe.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Ascetics probably wouldn't consent to be blown either. Just say'in.

nice

Ascetics:
suggesting the practice of severe self-discipline and abstention from all forms of indulgence


Apple will not indulge you the convenience of ports in the front.
post #7 of 27
I wish more large manufacturers would copy the Mac Mini only with more common sense. Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.

...but you could just turn it around on your desk...
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

If Samsung bought HP's computer manufacturing division would they keep the HP name for the first batch of products that were already in the pipeline for HP? Would they decide to just change the faceplate name? The side of my HP computer has HP embossed on it and the front cover has a plastic logo molded into it. Those would be easy to change.

HP is still a major, powerful brand in consumer and corporate desktops, laptops and printers. Why they are abandoning it so fast is a mystery. I think they are panicking. I do not see a need to eradicate it so fast from their product portfolio, it can be used at least to "smooth" (pun unintended re: Samsung) the transition to software. They're thinking of doing an IBM but if I remember correctly IBM always had a massive corporate and professional services presence and they probably lined up Lenovo before announcing they were exiting the consumer space. This is HP prostituting itself on the street (or Wall Street, as it were).

It would be smart for Samsung to pick it up to enter the laptop market. They would get a strong brand... They might even revive the TouchPad if the Galaxy goes into a black hole due to litigation. Whether Samsung is smart enough to manage all of this well is another issue. But laptops and tablets are not going away anytime soon and if Samsung is interested, at least for laptops, getting HP at a bargain price could be a good buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

I wonder if Samsung would change the name of HP to something else that sounded more American or European. Would they dump all of the HP staff and just take over the physical plant items? It will be interesting to see what happens no matter who buys HP.

I think HP as a brand is strong even in Asia, having operated in Asia for a very long time. Even Compaq has been around for a while. Their printers for example are still known as a major go-to brand alongside Canon, Brother and Epson, despite varying quality. HP colour printers for example are certainly better in some cases than Fuji Xerox which I hate.

Samsung could get the best of both worlds by co-branding HP stuff as HP Samsung. Best of both worlds. Some people like Samsung and some people like HP.

I don't think Samsung should dump anything too fast, despite Leo A. panicking and looking to offload HP's PC business. They do have a pipeline and HP's workstation, enterprise and consumer gear is still decent. I don't know if network gear would be included in the spinoff but again HP has some decent switches and stuff. At the end of the day it's a matter of whether Samsung can make the most of HP's decisions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

Does HP have really good patents that would help them sell computers over their competition?

Nothing amazing, I would guess. But HP should have some relevant patents or existing licensing for things like networking, software/bloatware, trackpads, biometric features and other proprietary designs that will certainly insulate Samsung from litigation.
post #9 of 27
Samsung buying HP's PC business for WebOS alone would be brilliant. Samsung could dump Android in favor of WebOS to become a viable competitor to the iPad. WebOS is light years ahead of Android in terms of UI design and more elegant than the iPad in many respects. Samsung could really spin things to its favor here, build up its patent portfolio, and not be subject to Google's whims.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

I wouldn't think an ascetic would use a computer. If one ever did it would probably be a used netbook. Ascetics probably wouldn't consent to be blown either. Just say'in.

Thank you for that. Best post I've read all day.
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZREOSpecialist View Post

Samsung buying HP's PC business for WebOS alone would be brilliant. Samsung could dump Android in favor of WebOS to become a viable competitor to the iPad. WebOS is light years ahead of Android in terms of UI design and more elegant than the iPad in many respects. Samsung could really spin things to its favor here, build up its patent portfolio, and not be subject to Google's whims.

Is not light years ahead in UI. Why drop a hugely successful platform for a failure. Perhaps they can run webos UI as a skin on top of android, but not much more.

I know Samsung laptops are hella expensive, on par with apple, perhaps even more. Would that carryover to hp?

Also, us is now left with just one PC manufacturer - dell, and to think a few years ago cheap pc was gonna drive apple out of business.
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post #12 of 27
Wait, don't Taiwanese manufacturers outsource manufacturing to China? If Samsung outsources PC production to Taiwan instead of China, aren't they just adding a middleman?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sheff View Post

Is not light years ahead in UI. Why drop a hugely successful platform for a failure. Perhaps they can run webos UI as a skin on top of android, but not much more.

To be fair, it all comes down to preference. All of the mobile operating systems are usable, and all of them can be said to be arguably better than the others in some aspects of the UI. If Samsung wanted to buy WebOS just for the ability to further differentiate their Android (or Bada) products without fear of retribution, I wouldn't see that as a bad thing for them (provided they don't overpay).

I personally would prefer Apple buy just the WebOS portfolio at a firesale price and merge the good bits into iOS. It would certainly make them look prescient for passing on Palm the first go-around.
post #14 of 27
HP is not giving up webOS software team.

They've abandoned the hardware team.

What are you people reading?

"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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"Like I said before, share price will dip into the $400."  - 11/21/12 by Galbi

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post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

HP is not giving up webOS software team.

They've abandoned the hardware team.

What are you people reading?

They are not, that's the problem.

philip
post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude427 View Post

I wish more large manufacturers would copy the Mac Mini only with more common sense. Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.

...but you could just turn it around on your desk...

Or just extend your arm the length of the Mac Mini and the length of the card required to reach the slot. If the Grand Parent is that damn lazy I have no sympathy for their decision making in to buy or not buy a Mac Mini.
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kresh View Post

That would be a no-no, Apple relies on "form over function". Ports on the front would blow the ascetics!

Since many Minis are in living rooms looks matter. That's why many of us don't have towers sitting next to the TV.

I personally don't want to see ports and wires all over the place and certainly not in front of the Mini.

philip
post #18 of 27
I have an external hard drive a little slimmer than the new Mac Mini. It has the power switch behind it. The box is on my desk just under my two monitors. It is a bit of effort to need to stand up reach over the monitors to get to the switch. Having a Mini on a desk in the same arrangement and with several cables poking out of the rear would make it a chore to access the slot. Some people mount their Minis under their desk tops using hanging holders. With a slot on the front for the card it would be so much easier to just push the card in. I use SD cards from my camera regularly. The easier the access to the slot the better.

The entertainment center users in the past used Minis with the CD/DVD slot with no complaints. Why would having a card reader slot and a couple of USB ports be such a big detractor from the appearance? One would need to be really finicky to reject a Mini because of that.

If I had a visitor who walked around my living room examining the smallest detail of every object in my home and then made comments about how awful something looked, I'd consider throwing him out. Who does that?
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Claude427 View Post

I wish more large manufacturers would copy the Mac Mini only with more common sense. Why did Apple feel the best place for the card reader was on the back? It should be on the front with a couple of other USB ports so people could easily plug in thumb drives or recharge their phones.

...but you could just turn it around on your desk...

I wouldn't want the spaghetti wires all over the front of the desk, just the card slot and a couple of USB ports for thumb drives or recharging things.

Every port on my Mac Book is filled. That's seven wires. I attach the Apple keyboard and plug things into the USB ports built into the ends of it. Whenever I get a Mac Mini I'm sure I'll utilize all of its ports too.
post #20 of 27
So much for the DigiTimes rumor...

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavi...or-hp-pc-unit/

In a way I was hoping that Samsung would go for it to have an albatross around their neck but they're not that dumb. They're not interested in the truck business.
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

HP is not giving up webOS software team.

They've abandoned the hardware team.

What are you people reading?

http://m.precentral.net/dewitt-webos...ecific-markets

http://m.precentral.net/webos-o-s-ca...e-our-platform

And try a search for "HP sell webos."

Even the WebOS centric sites can read the tea leaves on this one. HP appears to be paying lip service to the OS support even as they admit there is little internal direction beyond the next hill. It is naive to think they are not considering the option to sell the rights to someone else in addition to the licensing possibilities. After all, did they not give statements of support for their WebOS hardware right up until they killed it outright?
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Galbi View Post

HP is not giving up webOS software team.

They've abandoned the hardware team.

What are you people reading?

Exactly and I suspect may intend using it for cross platform app development for their enterprise clients. I'm not convinced they want anything more to do with consumers outside of the printers and inks. On second thoughts, maybe the printer division is next ...
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post #23 of 27
Considering Apple basically copied the look of their entire notebook computer line from HP, this would actually be quite interesting to watch.
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Considering Apple basically copied the look of their entire notebook computer line from HP, this would actually be quite interesting to watch.

Huh?

Which HP product from the past looked like the MBA? Or even the MBP for that matter?
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltc13 View Post

Considering Apple basically copied the look of their entire notebook computer line from HP, this would actually be quite interesting to watch.

Considering that PowerBook set the design standard (keyboard back, palm rests with pointing device in the middle) for the laptop industry in 1991, it would have been hard for Apple to copy HP.
post #26 of 27
Everything is for sale if the price is right.

I don't think that buying the whole PC business from HP is the right move for Samsung, but if they were able to purchase WebOS outright, it would be a brilliant move.

They would end their dependence on Google who just became a competitor and they would be able to embed WebOS in their TV's as well as smartphones and tablets thereby encouraging the purchasers of their TV's to purchase their mobile products as well - for increased functionality and interoperability between the devices.

Licensing WebOS doesn't make as much sense. They may as well stick with Android.
The failure of WebOS to gain any traction with Palm or with HP is twofold. First, is the crappy hardware both companies tried to release it on and the price point HP set. Second, is the lack of Apps for the platform.

The OS itself is awesome. On quality, appropriately powered hardware from Samsung, it might just have a chance. An emulator of some sort that would run Android apps on WebOS would be an excellent stop-gap that would provide users with a wide selection of Apps until such time as native WebOS versions of those apps are created and available.
post #27 of 27
I don't see why anyone would want to buy HP's PC business because it's not like they're going to be able to put an HP logo on their boxes, and HP doesn't have a valuable trademark like "ThinkPad" like IBM. They're going to be spun off and hope not to suffer the same fate as Motorola Mobility. Maybe Google will buy them too?
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