Toshiba to Develop “Fusion Products” by Consolidating its PC, TV, and Tablet Teams

Toshiba may want to have a chat with its PR department on the subject of burying the lead. Tucked away in an otherwise low-key press release mentioning that Toshiba is shuffling its digital products facilities in Japan, there’s a potentially big announcement: a major part of the restructuring will consolidate the company’s TV, PC, and tablet R&D teams into one spot, where they’ll be developing “fusion products” for the global market and streamlining product lines.

Specifically, here’s the bit that follows the mention of the TV division being moved to western Tokyo, where the PC and tablet divisions already reside:

This integration will allow product developers to draw on TV, PC and tablet technologies and accelerate development of fusion products for the global market that meet regional needs and trends, and value-added services. The number of models of digital products and product platforms will be reviewed to bring greater efficiency to design and development and to optimize use of R&D resources.

It’s unclear what this new melding of the minds will bring about, but the imagination sizzles. For example, Toshiba may be looking at making its product lines more compatible with one another, such as building smart(er) Regza TVs that seamlessly communicate with its tablets and PCs, which could help the company reinvigorate a lackluster TV market.

Toshiba consolidates TV, PC, and tablet departments
Toshiba is consolidating its TV, PC, and tablet R&D departments

The press release also stated that some of Toshiba’s LCD TV technical operations will be consolidated into one site in Aomori Prefecture in Japan, and its quality and production control will actually be less centralized and moved outside of the country. Production facilities in Indonesia, Egypt, and elsewhere will get some upgrades.

Toshiba headquarters
Toshiba headquarters in Japan

Usually, when a company’s press release talks about “restructuring”, “consolidating”, or “reorganizing”, it’s code for “we’re bleeding money and lots of people are losing their jobs”; however, Toshiba is currently doing well financially for the most part, so although many employees will be transferred to different divisions and locales, there are no large-scale layoffs. These moves show more strength than weakness--or at least aggressiveness instead of defensiveness.