Japanese tech-giant, Toshiba, finally waved goodbye to its laptop business. The transfer of ownership to rivalry company, Sharp, happened after Toshiba sold off its remaining 19.9% minority stake after three and a half decades in the business.
Toshiba has joined the league of brands that have exited the PC business in Japan.
However, the decision was not unexpected. The company had been experiencing financial difficulties for quite some time. In 2015 alone, Toshiba lost north of $31 billion.
Coupled with low sales and growing competitors, Toshiba’s sale of its shares was anticipated.
The company issued a press release a couple of days back, addressing the development. In the statement, Toshiba revealed that it sold its last shares off.
This sale comes barely two years after the tech giant sold their 80.1% stake to Sharp, which Sharp renamed Dynabook
As part of the deal when it bought the majority shares, Sharp had the right to purchase the remaining 19.1 per cent of shares. According to Toshiba, Sharp exercised this right in June.
“As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp,” the statement read.
Toshiba pioneered laptop production
Toshiba released its first IBM-compatible laptop computer, T1100, in 1985. Doubling as the world’s first, the laptop was sold majorly in the European market. Toshiba, however, expanded to other regions, including the US.
Toshiba’s T1100 laptop was not as successful as the company hoped. However, it set the debut standard for laptop production.
Some of the specifications of the T1100 include a 256KB internal memory and a 640×200 pixel reflective LCD screen.
It had a 3.5” floppy disk drive that supported 640KB and 720KB disks. The T1100 was quite heavy, weighing about nine pounds, an equivalent of 4.1Kg. Around that time, the T1100 was sold for about $1,999.
Over the last 3.5 decades, laptop production has evolved. However, it is almost impossible to write history without acknowledging Toshiba.
Giving its pioneer role in laptop production, Toshiba led the table of laptop manufacturers throughout the ’90s and most of the 2000s. Some of Toshiba’s all-time best laptops line include Toshiba Satellite Radius and Toshiba Tecra.
According to a reliable source, during its peak year in 2011, Toshiba sold over 17 million laptops annually. The company later had a dip in its sales to about 1.4 million units in 2017.
While it is a sad tale of exit for Toshiba, the tech giant is still a significant player in other business categories. The company also has dealings in the energy and retail business. It is also a frontrunner in printing and storage.
It is expected that Sharp’s purchase of Toshiba will help revive its essence and marketability.