Japanese tech giant Toshiba will no longer manufacture laptops. Once famous for its satellite ranger laptops for heavy use, it silently sold its remaining 19.9 percent stake in its Dynabook laptop brand to Sharp. Finally exiting from the laptop business sector which it once ruled.
Two years back, Toshiba sold a 80.1 percent stake of PC business to Sharp for $36 million. After the deal, Sharp renamed the PC division Dynabook. Sharp acquired the remaining 19.9 percent of shares back in June.
“Toshiba Corporation hereby announces that it has transferred 19.9 percent of the outstanding shares in Dynabook that it held to Sharp Corporation. As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp, said Toshiba in a press release.
Toshiba officially said goodbye to personal computers. The company has a history of more than three decades in the PC business. It also had one of the highest shares in laptops sold on the market.
Back in 1985, Toshiba launched its first computer, the T1100, IBM compatible. This model is believed to be one of the computers that played the role of a catalyst in the growth of the laptop industry. The model had internal recharge batteries, a 3.5-inch floppy disk drive, and 256k of memory with an LCD screen.
Ironically, Toshiba executives were sceptical about their ability to launch the T1100 successfully. The model’s lack of software resulted in visiting a software vendor multiple times until they agreed to release the applications.
In 1985, companies such as Osborne Computer Corp., Seiko Epson Corp, and Radio Shack Corp. already launched many models. However, T1100 was the first model to include a basic feature set that became standard for computers over the next 20 years.
The T110 model had 256 KB of memory, 1640×200 pixel reflective LCD screen that can display 25 lines of 80 characters. The 3.5-inch or 8.9 cm floppy disk supported 640KB and 720KB disks. The model was sized at about 12.3 inches by 2.5 inches bu 12 inches and weighed approximately 4.1 kilograms and had a price tag of $1,999 back then.
Toshiba had bigger plans to promote the model. The company executives spent 85’s summer in Europe promoting the model. By the end of 1985, the company sold 10,000 units. In late 1985, T110 made its first appearance in the US and went on sale in 1986.
Seeing the success, the company grew to become one of the top-sellers in those times. Between 1900 and 2000, Toshiba ranked among the top five PC vendors. However, Toshiba weakened with new players such as Lenovo, HP, and Dell coming with laptops of a better standard.
Market share in the laptop business of the company peaked in 2011 with 17.7 Million PCs sold. This number dipped to nearly 1.4 million in 2017. This is when it became clear that Toshiba was facing problems in its laptop business. The company hasn’t launched any promising laptop models.
Later in 2018, the company sold more than 80 percent to Sharp. The business was part of a broad restructuring amid growing problems for Toshiba to compete in the laptop business.
Toshiba renamed its NAND business Toshiba Memory Corporation, which later became Kiokia. The company sold its TV business to HiSense and sold Westinghouse Electric to Brookfield Business Partners.