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Toshiba Wraps Up Laptop Business, Sells Remaining Shares to Sharp

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. (Reuters photo)

The logo of Toshiba Corp is seen behind cherry blossoms at the company's headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. (Reuters photo)

Toshiba's latest decision comes nearly two years after it sold 80.1 percent shares of Toshiba Client Solutions to Sharp in June 2018 for a mere $36 million.

In what can be perceived as a major development, Toshiba, a household name in the appliance industry has announced its decision to quit the laptop market. The company has and also reportedly transferred all its stake to Sharp. Toshiba started making laptops way back in 1985 much before brands like Asus, Dell, Apple, HP, and Lenovo became mainstream. The company was also famous for making its 'Satellite' range of laptops, meant for heavy use, to take on IBM's ThinkPad series of notebooks.

Toshiba's latest decision comes nearly two years after it sold 80.1 percent shares of Toshiba Client Solutions to Sharp in June 2018 for just $36 million. After acquiring the shares, Sharp renamed the business to 'Dyanbook' and set sights about releasing new models and reviving the flailing brand, the Portege X30L-G being the biggest example. The company, however, retained 19.9 percent share with an option in Sharp's favour to buy the remaining stock.

Interestingly, Toshiba started outsourcing its laptop production until 2015, albeit it started making new models at its China facility. Consequently, as other brands, like the ThinkPad and Apple's Macbook Air started dominating the laptop market, Toshiba saw the writing back on the wall and thereby failing to capture the consumers' imagination. The rise of Dell, HP, and Lenovo especially on the PC front in the 2010s meant Toshiba eventually became just another brand.