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Toshiba pulls out of US desktop PC market

Toshiba is to stop selling desktop computers in the US and focus instead on mobile computing and servers.

"Considering the US market situation for desktop PCs, Toshiba America decided to gradually stop selling desktop PCs," said Kenichi Sugiyama, a spokesman for Toshiba in Tokyo.

"We will concentrate our efforts on notebook computers, PDAs and servers," he said, adding that support would still be available for customers who own a Toshiba desktop machine.

The worldwide market for PCs is in turmoil, with falling sales for the majority of vendors and an ongoing price war led by US market leader Dell.

Toshiba, known mostly for its notebook PCs, continues to sell desktops in Europe and Japan. But Sugiyama hinted that the company might axe its entire desktop business.

"Frankly, desktops just take a few percent of Toshiba PC production. We only sell small quantities in Europe and Japan, but at this moment we continue to sell desktops there," he said.

It makes sense for Toshiba to reconsider its desktop PC business, said Brian Gammage, a principal analyst at Dataquest.

"Toshiba's desktop business is small potatoes. They're moving from a defensive market position to no market position. It is not a surprise. At the volumes they were selling at it might be more profitable for them to stop," Gammage said.

Toshiba held a 0.1% share of the US desktop PC market in the third quarter of 2001, with 5,300 units sold, said Gammage. Total market volume was 8.2 million.

"Toshiba is primarily a notebook vendor. Desktops are something they've been doing in support of their notebook business. Toshiba desktops are difficult to find, not products you can pick off store shelves," Gammage added.

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