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Samsung pulls out of laptop market in Europe

Samsung may have made a success of its global smartphone business, but a poor showing in the laptop market in Europe recently has led the company to pull the plug on sales of its machines there.

The Korean tech firm said this week that its decision to exit the laptop market in countries such as the UK, France, and Germany was “specific to the region, and is not necessarily reflective of conditions in other markets.”

The move means Samsung will stop selling its range of Ativ and Chromebook machines, among others, across the European continent.

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PC Advisor, which broke the news of Samsung’s decision, said there were signs the company was planning such a move when it failed to unveil any new laptops at IFA in Berlin earlier this month.

The company’s decision to exit the laptop market in Europe follows an even more dramatic step taken by Sony earlier this year to bring the curtain down on global sales of its Vaio computers and exit the PC business altogether. The Japanese company is currently undergoing restructuring with around 5,000 jobs expected to go by the end of the year. It’s not yet clear if this week’s decision by Samsung will result in any job losses.

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Research firm Gartner said in the spring that it expected the traditional PC market – comprising both desktops and laptops – to shrink through 2015. In contrast, handset shipments are expected to go on growing, a factor clearly not lost on Samsung as it continues to invest heavily in the smartphone sector. The fast-expanding wearables space is also of great interest to the company, which has been quick to release a number of related products in the last year.

Despite taking its laptops out of Europe, Samsung said it would “continue to thoroughly evaluate market conditions,” suggesting it could one day restart sales there, though admittedly this seems unlikely to happen in the near future.