At the same time it was ditching its webOS-based hardware, HP announced that it was looking to "spin off" its Personal Systems Group, which includes its PC division. While that's not always code for "selling," it's clear that the tech giant had tired of the low-margin business, and that it may be looking for a suitor to pick up HP's computing assets.
But if the leading PC maker is bailing on the industry, who would be interested in taking on its business? Certainly not Dell. However, there does seem to be some logic behind a couple of names being floated as potential partners.
The one with the most smoke behind it is Samsung, which has no desktop presence in the U.S. and is trying to expand its laptop business here. It's hard to say how much interest the South Korean electronics giant would have in desktops, but it could increase its market share significantly with such an acquisition. In fact, Charlie Demerjian at SemiAccurate reports that Samsung is the only company in the running, according to HP insiders:
The sources would not say anything more, just that Samsung has been floating internally for weeks since a recent reorg. This sale wasn’t a snap decision, it has been in planning for a long time.
But another Asian firm may be in the running. Lenovo has already played this game when it obtained IBM's computer business, but it could make a bigger splash in the consumer computing market with an HP purchase. Though it's the number three PC maker globally, Lenovo is a lesser brand in the U.S. consumer space that, like Samsung, could boost its standing with an HP acquisition.
There are a couple of other names mentioned, Acer and Asus in particular, but Reuters reports that they wouldn't be able to purchase the entire PC group with their current cash reserves, and would only be players if HP decides to break the Personal Systems Group into parts.
Who do you think should purchase HP's PC division if the company decides to sell it? Let us know in the Comments section.