Toshiba has announced a massive rebranding exercise for its business-oriented PC business, owned in majority by Sharp since 2018, which will see the company name changed to Dynabook in the US and EU.
Four years after a massive financial scandal saw many of the company's leaders depart ahead of a record fine, and two years after financial troubles relating to a failed attempt to launch a nuclear power subsidiary in the US forced it to sell off most of its semiconductor business, Toshiba has announced that it is cutting ties with its old brand - at least for its PC businesses in the US and EU.
Under a plan unveiled late yesterday, Toshiba's public-facing PC business is to adopt the name of its parent company Dynabook - which was formerly known as Toshiba Client Solutions Co. Ltd. until early this year - for all its products. It's a name with history: Computing pioneer Alan Kay first proposed a device called the Dynabook and described as a personal computer aimed at children in a 1972 paper based on his earlier 1968 KiddiComp concept. The Dynabook design is recognisable as an early tablet PC, though with a physical keyboard underneath its screen. Toshiba, meanwhile, has been using the DynaBook name - with capital B - for selected products, but will now adopt it more generally.
For Dynabook-the-company, it represents a relative severing of ties with the old and scandal-ridden Toshiba: Sharp acquired a majority share in Toshiba Client Solutions in June 2018, though Toshiba proper remains a shareholder, but had until now chosen to retain the original name and product branding.
'Although our name is changing, we are still the company that in 1985 introduced the world’s first laptop and pioneered the adoption of more than 30 World's First Technologies, including design, battery, display, and wireless breakthroughs, which have shaped the modern laptop,' crowed Takayuki Tono, senior vice president of the newly-rebranded Dynabook Americas. 'We will continue to reinvent mobility, expand our IoT [Internet of Things] and AR Smart Glasses portfolios, and deliver world-class support to help improve our customers’ ability to work smarter and accomplish more.'
Former Toshiba sub-brands, including Portégé, Tecra, and DynaEdge will be retained, the company has confirmed, while the first Dynabook-branded hardware is expected to be released in the second quarter of this year.
February 6 2020 | 16:30