Samsung denies claims of desktop PC exit

June 25, 2013 // 9:43 a.m.

Tags: #desktop-market #desktop-pc-market #galaxy #gartner #idc #pc-market #post-pc #samsung #samsung-galaxy #smartphone #tablet

Reports that Samsung is to exit the desktop PC business in order to better concentrate on smartphone and tablet products have been denied by the company, but in such a way that doesn't close the door to dramatic reductions in output.

While Samsung may be better known for its Galaxy range of smartphones, tablets, and awkwardly-named 'phablets' - a truly horrendous portmanteau of 'phone' and 'tablet,' used to describe large-screen smartphones which make you look a right plonker when held up to the ear - it also enjoys considerable success with its laptop products and, to a lesser extent, its desktop machines. As well as its Chromebox - a small form factor device based around Google's Linux-powered Chrome OS - the company offers a wide range of all-in-one systems in the UK, include a range of Windows 8 touch-screen devices.

The winds of change are blowing, however, with the PC market continuing to decline as mobile and smartphone sales flourish. A new report from market research firm Gartner suggests that by the end of 2013 worldwide sales of traditional desktops and laptops will be down by more than 10 per cent, with further losses predicted for 2014. Combined with similar reports from the International Data Corporation, including the largest sales slump on record, and it's sombre reading for companies that don't have a mobile strategy in place.

That's not a problem for Samsung, of course: its Galaxy product family has the high-end smartphone market all but sewn up, with rival manufacturers other than Apple barely able to get a look in, and does brisk business at the budget end of the market as well. Yesterday, the Korea Times reported that this hadn't gone unnoticed at Samsung - and that the company would be closing its desktop PC division altogether, to better allocate resources to where the growth can be found.

'Demand for conventional desktop PCs is going down,' the paper quotes an unnamed Samsung spokesperson as saying. 'We will allocate our resources to popular connected and portable devices.' Another unnamed representative appeared to confirm that statement: 'Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung's current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants.'

Reports of Samsung's exit from the desktop PC market soon spread, but according to the company it's all a load of hooey. In a statement provided to bit-tech, a Samsung spokesperson explained: 'The rumour that Samsung is withdrawing from the desktop PC business is groundless. Samsung will continue to offer diverse PC products according to consumer and market needs.'

While the statement doesn't rule out a reduction in its desktop PC efforts - note that the spokesperson clearly indicates that the company's offerings are entirely dependent on 'consumer and market needs,' and we're already seeing the market for desktop machines shrink in favour of portable devices - it seems that, for now, rumours of the PC division's demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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