Last week I reported on a rumor that Toshiba will be exiting the consumer PC and laptop market, and would instead start concentrating on their performance in their home turf and finding ways of becoming financially stable again (which was probably about eight years ago). Late last week the company confirmed to the press that it was indeed restructuring and exiting the PC market, but added that its focus was now aimed at consumers in Japan, as well as business users worldwide. As rumored, there are also layoffs as a result of the restructuring, and multiple overseas offices are now shut down as of 31 March 2016.
The reasons for the sudden closure tie in with the company’s financial year, which begins on 1 April, and will help give Toshiba an idea of how much money these measures are saving the company. Thanks to the restructuring, about 1300 employees are now retrenched, and there’s no news as to whether these employees will be offered positions in the company’s offices in other countries which are still operational. Thanks to the move, Toshiba’s product lineup is also cut neatly in half – the only ranges and designs it’ll offer from now on will be aimed at business users. This includes product families like Satellite Pro, Tecra, and Portege, as well as servers and other networking equipment.
“Toshiba will concentrate on the B2B PC market globally by developing, manufacturing, and selling its Tecra and Portégé brands to the corporate market,” the company said in its statement mailed to press offices. “Toshiba will continue selling its consumer notebooks through its retail partners as the company expands its corporate footprint. Customers can purchase Toshiba with confidence knowing their product warranties and service obligations will be honored.”
A problem that Toshiba and its retail partners will now have to solve is the existing stock which is in the retail channel. Toshiba already makes very little profit from selling consumer-bound systems, so it’s quite likely that they’ll motivate their retail partners to let these systems go at, or below cost, in order to clear the channel quickly. As the available units in retail stores across the world dry up, customers will have a secondary option to buy stock from Toshiba’s website directly, which will be honoured through a third-party supplier. It’s expected that the business models will continue to be available without changes to their stock levels or price, so it might be a good time to keep an eye out for bargain stock clearance sales on the consumer parts.
Aside from the consumer side of things and the changes made to the company’s physical presence in countries outside of Japan, it should be business as usual, and it’s also unlikely that Toshiba will make any changes to their repairs departments in countries like South Africa.