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Toshiba scaling down its consumer PC business

Toshiba scaling down its consumer PC business

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Electronics company Toshiba sees less of a future in traditional PCs than it once did. Earlier today, the company said it plans to restructure and focus on the business market, where it could count on more steady sales. Correspondingly, it's shifting away from consumers and, in some places, totally pulling out of the market. Toshiba will stay in developed countries — including the US, which "is not impacted" by the change — where it can link consumer sales to enterprise ones, but it will reduce its consumer sales bases elsewhere around the world and cut down the PC unit's head office in Japan. It expects to lay off 900 employees, or over 20 percent of its non-manufacturing PC workforce, as part of the change.

Toshiba isn't the only company to have felt the effects of stagnating PC sales over the past few years. Perhaps most prominently, former powerhouse Dell was bought out by its founder during a period of financial turmoil, going off the stock market and focusing on shoring up commercial sales. HP saw its PC business drop significantly in 2013, although it was improving as of the latest earnings statement. Lenovo has been one of the only companies to seemingly avoid the decline. Toshiba, which makes components and industrial infrastructure as well as consumer electronics, hasn't done well in the latter category lately. It already restructured its TV business in 2013, after it lost $1 billion in two years; in its July earnings report, it announced that it would be cutting 300 more TV unit jobs.

Update Sept. 19th, 5:30pm ET: Added Toshiba confirmation that it will continue to sell consumer PCs in the US.