updated 11:40 pm EDT, Mon August 22, 2011
Samsung outsourcing in hints of HP hopes
Samsung might be grooming its notebook business in hopes of buying HP's spun-out PC business. Insiders in the part stream claimed Samsung was talking to Taiwan companies to outsource some notebook orders to companies like Compal, Pegatron, or Quanta in what could be the first step of handling HP's work. As HP moves over 40 million PCs a year, it would need those suppliers to keep production going, especially as Taiwan's suppliers are good at keeping costs under control, Digitimes was told.
The company supposedly brought all three suppliers over to Korea with a "cautious attitude," the contacts said, that hinted at expansion.
Some logistics could get in the way of the deal. At the least, Samsung would have to adapt its very tightly integrated supply chain into Taiwan, beyond its Chinese mainland area. Quanta, being unusually frank, said that a Samsung buyout of HP's PC resources would also mean having to take on several times more orders, peaking at 50 million to 60 million. Many of those orders are locked in through to 2012 and wouldn't let Samsung easily back out.
Samsung might have a vested interest in buying HP. The company is one of the faster-moving PC builders in the world and had some growth in Europe. It still has yet to dislodge Apple, Dell, HP, and others from higher positions in the market. Taking on the top PC maker would, if it could preserve sales, immediately catapult it to the top spot.
If not for an HP deal, the outsourcing could still be a sign Samsung was expecting fast enough growth that its existing production lines wouldn't be enough to handle the output.