Could Samsung acquire HP

With news swirling that HP, one of the largest computer makers, plans to spin off its PC business, I thought of possible alliances.

I heard from just one source so far that Samsung Electronics might be in the mix.

Another report that surfaced the week of August 15th has HP spinning off its PC division into a separate company similar to the way ProCurve operated. ProCurve was owned by HP and run independently until last year when it was integrated along with3Com and 3Par to become HP Networking.

Things have definitely changed at HP afterLeo Apotheker took over as CEO. Under Mark Hurd, HP boldly claimed it owned everything from the data centre on down to the end point. With talk that HP is shipping out its end points I wonder what the claims will be now.

So what about Samsung Electronics? The South Korean-based consumer electronics maker is a giant sporting semiconductor and telecom businesses. It has well over 200,000 employees and more than 65 manufacturing plants. It event has its own town – Samsung Town – a suburb of Seoul, South Korea. Samsung makes similar equipment from notebooks, to smart phones to Galaxy Tab devices. They also have printers that have become popular alternatives to HP printers. If they get HP’s PC division it would definitely strengthen the company as it can become part of its core computing competency.

I think they would be a willing buyer if given the opportunity. Would HP sell to Samsung? HP might not think they are real competition like Dell, Cisco, and IBM.

Or they can go the IBM route and keep a portion of the PC division. IBM holds a 17 per cent stake in Lenovo, for example.

Apotheker, who was a former CEO of SAP, has said he wants to expand its software business and become a cloud provider.

PC’s over the decades have slashed margins from a high of about 40 points in the late eighties to just about two or three points today. If the question is can they make money from PCs; I’ll bet that HP has come to the conclusion of “no”. But under new management and a new consumerish approach can Samsung make a go of it? I think they can. The company has come out with some interesting industrial designs and form factors for its products. One that caught my eye was the printer with the piano black finish. Samsung would need to push the envelope on design to match Apple in the market place, but that’s not out of the realm of possibility.
One quick hit before I go. Co-founder ofNavantis Jason Martin is leaving his role as president of the company to run an investment fund. Martin has been with Navantis for 13 years and CDN wishes him the very best.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Paolo Del Nibletto
Paolo Del Nibletto
Editor of Computer Dealer News, covering Canada's IT channel community.

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