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The unforgiving PC market

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Once upon a time, there were IBM Think Pad laptops. They are no more.

If you are still nostalgic about the Think Pad brand, there is a way out for you; the Lenovo Think Pad.

The US IBM sold its PC division to the Chinese Lenovo some years ago and IBM has not been in the personal computing business ever since. IBM Redirected its energies into the server and service computing business.

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For those that had been around in the technology arena for some time, IBM’s decision was easily understood; demand for desktops and laptops had been falling for some time signaling the end of the PC era and the ushering in of the smartphone boom.

A year or two ago, there were Toshiba laptops. They are no more.

The Japanese Toshiba joined the laptop PC party very early in 1985. The T1100, Toshiba’s first ever laptop weighed 4 kilograms and graced a 3.5 inches floppy disk. In those old days, that was quite something extraordinaire.

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The Toshiba T1100 first launched in Europe and 10,000 units were expected to churn out from Toshiba’s assembly lines.

2011 was the apex of Toshiba laptop sales. The company sold 17m laptops. Soon, the downward sales course began that saw figures shrinking to 1.9m units by 2017.

In order to arrest impending loses; Toshiba stopped building consumer laptops for the European market and went into contract manufacturing, making laptop hardware for other businesses.

A $318m loss in 2015 was a biblical handwriting on the wall for Toshiba. Toshiba’s president and vice president resigned after it was discovered that the company had actually overstated its profits for the previous six years.

At that point, only the shell looked good from the outside but the inside was empty, canker worms had already devoured its financial intestines. As a rescue measure, Toshiba sold 80 percent stakes of its computing division to Sharp in 2018 for $36 million.

In November 2020, Sharp bought the remaining 20 percent Toshiba shares; the final nail on Toshiba’s laptop brand’s coffin was hammered.

Demand for consumer laptops has been slowing for many years with only a slight false soar in the coronavirus pandemic and global lockdowns.

The PC market remains unforgiving favoring the likes of Lenovo that can sustain scale and price or those with premium brands like Apple.

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