Sony sells Vaio PC business ahead of expected $1 billion loss
Sony has been offering Vaio PCs in one form or another for the past 18 years, but the PC market is shrinking and Sony holds less than a 2 percent share, so it makes sense to offload it. The buyer is an investment fund going by the name of Japan Industrial Partner (JIP), which will also take on up to 300 Sony employeesassociated with the business.
JIP plans to continue offering Vaio-branded desktop PCs and laptops, but with one key difference: they will only be available in Japan. If that goes well over the coming years then it’s possible the Vaio name could make the trip back to Western markets, but with the PC business the way it is right now I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that to happen.
Selling Vaio and offloading hundreds of staff is only the first step in Sony’s plans to turn its business around. A loss of $1.08 billion is expected for 2013, so Sony will be cutting a lot of jobs before 2014 is over. 1,500 jobs are going in Japan, and a further 3,500 will be cut from across the company’s global operations.
What we can expect to see from Sony going forward is a renewed focus on mobile devices, and in particular smartphones and tablets. The high-end TV market is also an area the company believes it can do well in and will be focusing on 4K-capable TVs in the short term. You also can’t forget the video games sector. The PS4 is looking like it could be the number one console this generation while the jury is still out on how successful the PS Vitahandheld is going to be over its lifetime.