Toshiba calmly exited the laptop business once and for all last week, ending a 35-year run by selling its outstanding minority stake in its PC business to Sharp.
Two years ago, Toshiba sold an 80.1 percent stake of its PC business to Sharp for $36 million, and Sharp renamed the division Dynabook. Sharp exerted its right to buy the remaining 19.1 percent of shares back in June, and Toshiba stated on August 4th that the deal was completed.
“As a result of this transfer, Dynabook has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sharp,” Toshiba stated in a statement.
The Toshiba made the first PC laptop in 1985: The T1100 boasted internal rechargeable batteries, a 3.5-inch floppy drive, and 256K of memory. ComputerWorld’s 20-year retrospective of the T1100 notes that Toshiba officials were uncertain about the portable computer, but ultimately came around, and started selling the T1100 for approximately $2,000.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, Toshiba was between the top PC manufacturers. Still, as more competitors pushed into the market and with fewer different features to offer, Toshiba’s laptops waned in popularity.
By the moment it sold its stake to Sharp, Toshiba’s share of the PC market had dwindled from its 2011 peak of 17.7 million PCs sold to about 1.4 million in 2017, according to Reuters.