[Updated below with a statement from Samsung.]
Looks like Samsung may have left one detail out of its big summer announcement last week: the death of the desktop. The Korea Times is quoting a Samsung executive as saying the company will stop producing desktops in order to focus more on portable and connected devices. While ditching the desktop seems like a perfectly logical move to make, there are some lingering question marks.
If you have a hard time thinking of a Samsung-produced traditional desktop set up, you’re not alone. A quick search for current Samsung desktops brings up a Chromebox and not much else – except for all-in-ones, like the Ativ One 5 Style that was just announced last week. The Korea Times quotes a Samsung official as saying, “Tablets, all-in-one and hybrid PCs are Samsung’s current focus. Samsung is speeding up its restructuring of its PC business via product realignment toward profitable variants.” This suggests the all-in-one category, which is essentially a bulky laptop with a giant display, is sticking around. However, the Korea Times also refers to Samsung as “devot[ing] itself to tablet computers and all-in-one laptops,” which makes us wonder if something got lost in translation. What the hell is an “all-in-one laptop?” By nature, aren’t laptops “all-in-ones?”
Meanwhile, the site Patently Apple claims the Ativ One 5 Style is dead on arrival due to today’s announcement regarding Samsung’s PC business. So it could be that Samsung’s all-in-ones are going out the window … or it could not. We’ll have to see if Samsung makes an official statement and clarifies its plan. But, if anything, this highlights the increasing blurring of lines between computing device categories that we’ve primarily seen with laptops and tablets, and the consistent push towards more mobile products.
What do you think? Is the all-in-one category just as dead as the traditional desktop? Or is there room for it in this brave new Windows 8 world?
Update: 6/25/13 at 5:25 a.m. PST: Samsung released a statement assuring us that its desktop lines aren’t going anywhere. False alarm. Here’s what Samsung says:
“The rumor that Samsung is withdrawing from the PC desktop business is groundless. Samsung will continue to offer diverse products according to market needs, including our recently announced ATIV One 5 Style, a stylish all-in-one PC. We will continue to open all possibilities in PC business including our PC Tower business, to satisfy consumer’s diverse lifestyle and needs.”
So, desktops are here to stay … for now.