Samsung denies ditching its desktop PC business

The Korea Times says Samsung is killing its desktop PC business. Samsung says it's not.

Monday, the Internet buzzed and rumbled with news that Samsung planned to drop out of the desktop PC market. Tuesday, Samsung poured cold water on the report.

No desktop options here.
No desktop options here.

We know what you're thinking: "Samsung makes desktops?" Apparently so, though the report the Korea Times put out on Monday definitely made it feel that the traditional PC's time is done at Samsung.

"Demand for conventional desktop PCs is going down," an unnamed Samsung Electronics official said in that Korea Times report. "We will allocate our resources to popular connected and portable devices."

Across the web, pitchforks were nabbed and PC doomsayers said doomy things. Which PC manufacturer would be the next to throw in the towel? several people wondered. The answer turned out to be "Not Samsung." The electronics giant sent the following statement to Engadget and other publications:

The rumor that Samsung is withdrawing from the PC desktop business is groundless. Samsung will continue to offer diverse products according to market needs, including our recently announced Ativ One 5 Style, a stylish all-in-one PC. We will continue to open all possibilities in PC business including our PC Tower business, to satisfy consumer's diverse lifestyle and needs.

It was much ado about nothing--in more ways than one.

Samsung does the desktop boogie

So, Samsung's keeping its tower PC business active, for what that's worth. Here in the U.S. you'd be hard-pressed to find a desktop with the Samsung logo on it. The closest thing to a desktop you'll find on the Samsung website are all-in-ones and Chromeboxes, and they're mere drops lost in the ocean of Samsung's laptops, tablets, and smartphones. Even the business and gaming PC options yield solely mobile devices

Tower PCs have simply never been a major focus for Samsung. Saying you're open to maintaining a PC tower business without offering a single tower PC is a bit disingenuous.

Try telling Maingear that desktop PCs are dead.
Try telling Maingear that desktop PCs are dead.

Regardless of whether or not Samsung's desktop swan song was truth or tall tale, there's no denying that PC sales have stalled while mobile sales have blossomed, and companies have been responding by shifting their focus to the devices that are selling.

Even so, rumors of the PC's demise are greatly exaggerated. A majority of the large manufacturers--such as Dell, Lenovo, Asus, and Acer--continue to offer a plethora of desktop options. Smaller boutique gaming PC builders continue to prop up all the time as well, offering outrageous performance for the price of a small mortgage.

But make no mistake: While Samsung's killing of the desktop may not have happened today, some manufacturer, some day, will in all likelihood carry out the vicious act. Selling computers is a cut-throat business, and with consumer attention shifting to slates, it would be surprising if some of the smaller desktop players--yes, like Samsung--didn't dump towers to focus on the sleek and mobile.

And that's OK. While the word of the day is diversify, the desktop PC market isn't going to disappear any time soon. Plus, when it comes down to brass tacks, tablets are PCs, too--just like laptops, netbooks, and all-in-ones.

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Brad Chacos and Alex Cocilova

PC World (US online)
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