Could Asus purchase Toshiba's laptop business?

In a recent report about the laptop market, market research firm DisplaySearch noted that Asus was "steadily losing share" to first-tier vendors like Acer, HP, Dell, Lenovo, and Toshiba. Could Asus eat up one of the top five to increase its footprint? Asus is certainly considering it, according to DigiTimes.

DigiTimes writes that Asus intends to rank "as the global top-three notebook vendor" in 2011, and it's prepared to acquire its way to that position. A Commercial Times story that quotes Asus Chairman Jonney Shih reportedly says Toshiba's notebook division "has been identified as one of the company's possible targets." Shih added that Asus had already started talks with Toshiba, although those talks "are not yet finalized."

In the first quarter of this year, Toshiba claimed roughly 10% of global netbook shipments, compared to almost 6% for Asus. Put together, the two firms' notebook divisions would represent about 15% of the market, eclipsing Dell but trailing HP and Acer.

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