Update: November 28, 2016 — Our sister site reports that Samsung has denied they are in talks with Lenovo.
Samsung is in negotiations with Lenovo, the largest IT company in China, to sell its PC business, according to thebell, a South Korean financial news site. This comes only two months after Samsung sold its printer business to HP.
While it is still uncertain whether the deal will go through, the transaction amount is expected to reach 850 million dollars USD. Samsung Electronics previously sold the printing solution division of its consumer electronics (CE) division to HP for US $1.05 billion.
On the back of this rumor, speculation now turns to how well Samsung has been doing with their PCs and whether this is part of a larger strategic pivot. Over the last few years, with the advance of a number of alternative and more portable smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, and watches, PCs have slowly fallen out of favor. According to IDC and Gartner reports, PC shipments have declined over the past few years. At the same time, Samsung’s competitiveness faded away with the advent of global competitors on the same top-tier PCs such as Lenovo and cheap PCs such Asus.
On the other hand, Lenovo has grown rapidly to become the world’s largest PC maker, accounting for 20% of worldwide shipments after entering as the mobile phone business in 2001 and acquiring IBM’s PC business in 2005.
Meanwhile, it is reported Lenovo also in negotiations with Fujitsu in Japan for acquiring its PC business. It is observed that since Lenovo is weighing two options, the deal with Samsung Electronics’ PC business has been sluggish for several months.
Samsung’s recent moves show its strong willingness to restrucute and reshape around mobile smart home appliances and connected cars with Artificial Intelligence. While selling the PC and printer business, Samsung also made a number of acquisitions.
Last month, Samsung Electronics acquired Harman, market leader in connected car solutions. A month before that, they acquired Viv, the next generation AI platform, founded by the original Siri developers.
Samsung Electronics also acquired Joyent, a cloud service provider, AdGear, a Quebec-based leading digital advertising technology company, and NewNet Communication Technologies, a Canadian company specialized in Rich Communications Services (RCS). Yesterday, Samsung acquired Quantum Dot Tech Company’s QD Vision, the US-based provider for consumer displays.
For Samsung, consumer appliances such as TVs, refrigerators, and washing machines are evolving into a smart home system combined with the Internet (IoT), making artificial intelligence, cloud, and data management system technology even more important.