Two months on from its decision to withdraw from the local retail notebook market, Samsung Electronics has pulled out of the product category altogether.
The vendor plans to concentrate its future mobile computing efforts on the nascent Ultra Mobile PC (UMPC) space. Samsung sales director of IT and CE, Norman Krieke, said the move would have minimal impact on the channel as there was very little stock left with distributors, such as Ingram Micro.
IDC PC analyst, Liam Gunson, was unsurprised at the news and said it was likely other vendors could follow suit during 2007.
"We track 19 multinationals and a few of the larger local players, but you have to consider that the top five - Toshiba, HP, Dell, Lenovo and Acer - have 79 per cent of the market," he said. "Throw in Apple and Asus and that figure rises to 88 per cent."
Gunson said the consumer market was particularly fierce, forcing Samsung and LG out late last year.
"Up until now, the overall growth of the market has sustained things - just - but we won't be seeing the market continue to grow at 40 per cent per year anymore," he said.
The only salvation for vendors who didn't find themselves in the upper notebook echelons would be to find a unique niche, Gunson said.
"For example, take Panasonic with its Toughbooks: They might only do small amounts, but they operate in that different space and they own it," he said.
Gunson said Samsung might be able to carve out its own niche with UMPC because it was a new space. But he warned the market had yet to warm to the concept.
Krieke said Samsung would aim its UMPC efforts at the education market. He also cited potential in mobile sales forces and medical areas.