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Samsung abandons Chromebooks, laptops, PCs in Europe

Want a Sammy Chromebook? Live in Blighty? Forget it

Samsung will hit the eject button on its the European PC business after deciding its low sales volumes simply aren't worth the cost.

The move will not surprise industry types as earlier this year the chaebol exited the entry-level notebook segment in the Euro region – to concentrate on premium portables including Ultrabooks.

But a spokesman told The Channel today that the new plan for Europe is to get out of PCs altogether.

“We quickly adapt to market needs and demands," he said.

“In Europe, we will be discontinuing sales of laptops including Chromebooks for now. This is specific to the region and it is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets.

“We will continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions and will make further adjustment to maintain our competitiveness in emerging PC categories.”

Figures from tech bean-counter Canalys showed Samsung shipped about one million PCs in the first half of this year in Europe, placing it well outside the top five biggest sellers in the region.

The PC market is all about economies of scale, and it seems Samsung didn’t have the volumes to make continued involvement commercially viable, said Tim Coulling, senior analyst at Canalys.

“If you compare Samsung’s notebook share with its smartphones and tablets, they pale into insignificance,” he said.

As for slabbies, Samsung’s Galaxy brand is the global number two behind Apple’s iPad, and in smartphones the South Korean titan in number one, worldwide.

Samsung made an early entry into the Chromebook market, but this became crowded and ultra competitive, the Canalys man said. The “premium” end of the notebook sector simply “isn’t moving,” he added.

According to IDC, the global portable PC market will shrink by 4.7 per cent this year to 170 million units, and decline by one per cent on a compound annual growth rate over the next half a decade.

Consolidation in the PC market is finally gaining momentum, following Sony’s decision to sell its ailing division to venture capitalists, who decided that, for the short term at least, no more VAIOs will be sold outside of Japan. ®

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