Hewlett-Packard announced last week in an earnings call it was interested in spinning off its Personal Systems Group. No buyers emerged in the immediate aftermath until today, when Taiwanese news site Digitimes reported that Samsung is possibly interested in purchasing the division.
Digitimes says that Samsung has been in contact with Taiwanese notebook makers Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics and Pegatron Technology to evaluate the possibility of outsourcing notebook orders. Digitimes reasons “Samsung’s actions seem like it is already in preparation to take up Hewlett-Packard’s (HP’s) PC business.”
Samsung would need to engage external partners to cope with the supply chain demand that absorbing HP’s PC business would create. Taiwan’s notebook OEM industry would make the perfect partner as major players currently have excess capacity, and their cost-control methods are second to none.
Rumors that HP was hunting for a suitor for its PC division in Asia are not new, however before last week’s announcement they were dismissed as idle speculation. Last March the Taiwanese newspaper Want China Times ran a story reporting that their industry sources had confirmed the rumor that HP would sell its PC business to Samsung. The article quoted Ray Chen, CEO of OEM manufacturer Compal Electronics, who claimed that he had heard about Samsung’s plans to acquire HP’s PC business.
If Samsung were to take over HP’s PC division it would become the largest PC vendor in the world, beating current rival Acer.