Toshiba quietly exited the laptop business once and for all last week, ending a 35-year run by transferring its remaining minority stake in its PC business to Sharp. Two years ago, Toshiba sold an 80.1 percent stake of its PC business to Sharp for $36 million, and Sharp renamed the division Dynabook. Sharp exercised its right to buy the remaining 19.1 per cent of shares back in June, and Toshiba released a statement August 4th that the deal was completed
“As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp,” Toshiba said in a statement.
The company made the first PC laptop in 1985: The T1100 boasted internal rechargeable batteries, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and 256K of memory. ComputerWorld’s 20-year retrospective of the T1100 notes that Toshiba executives were unsure about the portable computer, but eventually came around, and began selling the T1100 for around $2,000.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Toshiba was among the top PC manufacturers, but as more players crowded into the market and with fewer unique features to offer, Toshiba’s laptops waned in popularity. By the time it sold its stake to Sharp, Toshiba’s share of the PC market had dwindled from its 2011 peak of 17.7 million PCs sold to about 1.4 million in 2017, according to Reuters.
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