Last week, HP made the curious decision to announce the impending sale of its PC business without naming a buyer. It's no surprise, then, to see the rumor mill all fired up with speculation about who that buyer might be. Basing themselves on "sources from the upstream supply chain," the folks at DigiTimes are currently pointing their fingers at Samsung.
Word is that Samsung has gotten in touch with Taiwanese contract manufacturers Quanta, Compal, and Pegatron to "evaluate the possibility of outsourcing notebook orders." Reportedly, Samsung makes notebooks at its own factories in China right now, and past negotiations with contract manufacturers didn't bear fruit. The sudden change of heart suggests Samsung could be gearing up to expand its business—something DigiTimes' sources believe will involve HP's PC business:
The sources pointed that the Taiwan's notebook OEM industry's production efficiency and cost control is currently unmatched worldwide; therefore, if Samsung takes over HP's PC department, HP's over 40 million PC shipment volume will still need to depend on Taiwan OEMs. However, related suppliers of components such as panel, memory and battery may be affected as Samsung has a rather strong vertical integration supply chain.
Samsung certainly seems like a company with enough resources to snatch up the biggest PC business in the industry. On top of that, Samsung has a relatively small slice of the PC market at present, so a potential acquisition could go through without running afoul of antitrust regulations. A firm like Acer or Dell might not have the same opportunity.