Toshiba this month revealed its finalized PC business strategy for the future. As expected, the company intends to cease selling consumer personal computers outside of Japan and plans to focus on corporate and business PCs going forward. Toshiba will sell existing consumer PCs in North America and Europe and will honor the warranties in the future. However, the company has no plans to introduce any new consumer models outside of its home market.

Toshiba disclosed plans to reorganize its PC business in September, 2014. The company announced intentions to stop selling consumer computers completely and focus on business and corporate PCs instead. Toshiba said that the purpose of the reorganization was to ensure profitability of this business unit and improve competitive positions against companies like Dell, HP or Lenovo on the corporate PC market. Toshiba hopes that the new focus will help it to significantly increase its B2B (business to business) sales already in fiscal 2016 (which begins on April 1, 2016) and become profitable.

For a number of years Toshiba’s PC business was focused on increasing market share, which means that the company had to develop two separate product families: one for business users and another for consumers. Due to tough competition, it is not easy to sell consumer PCs nowadays. Products families have to be broad, profit margins are razor thin and suppliers have to focus primarily on sales scale and volume. While Toshiba is known for affordable systems in the U.S., that business was not profitable for the company. This was was one of the reasons why Toshiba decided to cease selling its consumer PCs outside of Japan.

Because of the reorganization, the company has reduced headcount of its PC business by 1300 people as well as eliminated multiple operation sites. Toshiba plans to offer a full range of corporate personal computers, tablets and workstations. In particular, the company will offer higher-performance notebooks under its Tecra brand, ultra-thin laptops will be sold under the Portégé trademark, whereas tablets and 2-in-1s will carry dynaPad and Portégé names.

“Toshiba will concentrate on the B2B PC market globally by developing, manufacturing, and selling its Tecra and Portégé brands to the corporate market,” the company said in its statement.

Right now Toshiba’s retail partners offer a variety of Satellite notebooks and other low-cost consumer PCs, including models based on Intel processors featuring the Broadwell micro-architecture. These systems will be available while the stock last and then customers interested in Toshiba PCs will have to buy Tecra, dynaPad and Portégé either directly from Toshiba or from various resellers.  In short, Toshiba-branded PCs are not going away from the U.S., but they will not be available widely and will cost more than they do today. The company will honor all Satellite and other warranties.

“Toshiba will continue selling its consumer notebooks through its retail partners as the company expands its corporate footprint,” the company said. “Customers can purchase Toshiba with confidence knowing their product warranties and service obligations will be honored.”

To better address the PC market both in Japan and in other countries, Toshiba will establish Toshiba Client Solutions Co. later this week. Moreover, the company will continue to discuss further reforms of its PC business with third parties. There are rumors that Toshiba is negotiating strategic deals with other Japanese computer suppliers and investors, but so far nothing official has been revealed.

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  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    This is why toshiba is making a good move. The tecra and portge brands are some of their best machines, and are actually made well. Leave that cheap junk to acer and the like. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    Toshiba hasn't sold a decent model in North America in 15 years. All of their good stuff stays in Asia and Europe. The same goes for Acer too. It's like their brands are synonymous with disposable computers in America so why bother selling anything good? Reply
  • Fallen Kell - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    I know seriously they gave up on offering decent laptops in the US. I have no idea why, especially when they were the first company to offer a laptop with 3D video card chips in them back around 1999. Reply
  • Samus - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    I had a Portege in the late 90's, Pentium 3 800MHz 12.1" incredibly good laptop, followed by a Thinkpad X40, Pentium M, probably the best laptop I've ever owned (the guy I sold it to STILL USES IT) and the first laptop I ever had with an SSD. I don't remember if it was 40GB or 64GB, but it was PATA and it cost $600 in 2003 LOL.

    Practically every laptop I've had since was crap. The Dell Inspiron 700m (huge piece of crap, there was a site called www.recall700m.com up for years, Dell never acknowledged the defects that basically ruined the thing) and the Lenovo X200 that followed that awful Dell I dealt with for years, only to have huge issues of its own ranging from the USB ports cracking (google it, the USB ports are too tight/not molded to spec) to having 1/3 the keyboard fail in warranty and not be covered because of "wearable component" to the battery failing a month out of warranty, obviously not covered, I've been happier with my HP Revolve 810 G1, going on 3 years, than anything I've owned since that IBM-engineered X41 and Toshiba Portege.

    HP is basically king of business laptops now. Dell has some interesting offerings, especially the XPS13 (which isn't really a business model, no docking station, but has USB-C to make up for it.) Lenovo is just crap to me. I practically fix Lenovo's for a living. I just had a $1000+ Thinkpad Yoga in for a bad CPU fan, and coincidentally repaired the same exact one a year ago because of a defective battery switch. Both of these are incredibly common defects and Lenovo continues to sell them, defective, for $1000.

    Lenovo has destroyed what they inherited for IBM. I hope HP, Dell and now Toshiba can go after them in quality, because really it won't be hard. The problem is Lenovo is such cheap shit (like, really, they cost half of the competition) that it's hard to sway people away from them. Nobody has a concept of quality anymore. They just want it cheap, even if they're unhappy with it and it breaks on them constantly. At least it was cheap.
    Reply
  • Murloc - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    what about Asus? Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    They are real hit-or-miss on anything that isnt their G series. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    They have come a long way, I'll give them that. I am a huge Asus fan going back to my first Asus motherboard (a 386 with a secondary math coprocessor) in the early 90's. They have had some duds but overall are well above average. The only company with better support than Asus is Supermicro. ABIT back in the day had great support, and Gigabyte used to be good but have become very average with the likes of MSI (who has improved substantially over the years.) DFI, although they made some pretty crappy boards, did have decent support, with constant BIOS updates and easy RMA. Basically the only companies that are hard to deal with anymore are the 3rd tier ie Foxconn, ECS, etc. ECS does a ok job with BIOS updates but good luck dealing with an RMA, their US headquarters in City of Industry doesn't even employ English speaking staff; it's almost impossible to communicate with them via email or over the phone. This is a stark contrast to Supermicro where you call a number and Allen picks up and says hello. Reply
  • KingOfAnts - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    I buy Lenovo exclusively for my executive and engineering users, but only the T and X series of business laptops. I buy at least 20 per year for the past 6 years and not a single one had a defect (other than R&R eating too much disk space). My only complaint is that they change out models so quickly that I can't even get an UltraBase for an X230 unless I go to Amazon. Reply
  • Samus - Thursday, March 31, 2016 - link

    The T and X series are the only ones that I'd ever consider contenders for business. The problem is Lenovo, starting with the E series, and now into the Yoga, is putting the Thinkpad name on a lot of stuff undeserving of the nameplate. It'd akin to Ford making a Lincoln based on the Fiesta platform.

    But the problem is, even with the T and X series, there are serious quality control issues, granted they have improved over the first Lenovo-based models (T60 series and their chronic overheating issues into the T400's with their quirky power issues and USB ports cracking)

    At the end of the day, the issue really is support and Lenovo's is terrible. If you buy an HP or Dell business machine, they treat you like a King, and if you are out of support, they still treat you well, it's just that you'll have to pay. Lenovo doesn't even offer the user an option to do the repair themselves. HP ships me parts, not just batteries, but motherboards, cooling fans, and so on, all the time, free overnight from Texas, and I have 5 days to ship the bad part back with the prepaid sticker. The killer feature of Elitebooks and many ProBooks is most have 3y/3y support built in. Dell offers Gold support for 3 years, usually <$100, and worth it, on most of their business models. Lenovo offers 1 year support across the board and it is terrible.
    Reply
  • Flunk - Wednesday, March 30, 2016 - link

    Their business computers, like the Tecra and Protege lines are pretty good.

    Their consumer machines are garbage and have been for at least 10 years. I think that's the main reason they're pulling the lines, they're not profitable because they didn't sell the big volumes they would have to sell to make money because they're crap.

    I think it's great news that they're pulling the crap off the shelves, maybe it will stop poisoning their good name.
    Reply

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