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Sony selling off VAIO business, will focus on smartphones and tablets

Sony is reorganizing its business units, and will focus on mobile devices and tablets going forward.


It’s official: Sony is parting ways with its VAIO line.

Bloomberg announced at the start of the week that Sony was looking to sell its VAIO line, but Sony released a statement stating that it is “continuing to address various options.” It didn’t take long for the manufacturer to make up its mind, however, as Sony officially announced just before the trading day ended in Tokyo that it is selling off the VAIO notebook business.

The brand will be sold to investment firm Japan Industrial Partners, with the deal set to be finalized by March 2014. The VAIO notebook line featured several iconic notebook designs, and has always been associated with high-end notebooks. A decline in PC sales is said to be the main motivator behind the decision to sell the VAIO line. Sony stated that it is no longer designing and developing new products in the VAIO series, and confirmed that manufacturing and sales will wind down after the latest batch of notebooks go on sale globally.  The organization has mentioned that it will focus on three verticals (imaging, game and mobile) going forward.

While Sony saw a year-on-year sales increase from its mobile division, it still incurred a net loss of $1.1 billion, which is in stark contrast to the projected $296 million profit. Most of the deficit is caused by the TV and notebook divisions, and while the manufacturer is looking to turn things around for its TV unit with the launch of 4K TVs, it has decided that the notebook line isn’t worth the undertaking, largely due to the state of notebook sales globally.

After the VAIO deal is finalized, Sony will be concentrating its efforts on launching new mobile devices and tablets. The manufacturer is already rumored to launch a handset codenamed Sirius at the Mobile World Congress later this month in Barcelona. In the gaming line, the PlayStation 4 is bringing in a lot of cash for Sony, and with services like the PlayStation Now streaming service set to roll out in the coming months, the revenue generated from the gaming line is set to increase.

The sale of the VAIO unit means that there will be a total of 5,000 layoffs globally, of which 1,500 jobs will be from Sony’s Japan offices. The investment firm that bought Sony’s notebook division has announced that it will hire 250 to 300 Sony employees in design, development manufacturing and sales divisions.

Source: Sony

Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda is an avid reader of science-fiction novels. A long-time Arsenal fan, his other interests include gaming, basketball and making music. He also likes tinkering with hardware in his free time.

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