Sony selling off VAIO computer arm
Sony has decided to call time on its VAIO PC business, and has announced that it is selling the entire division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).
During the announcement of its financial results, Sony explained that a drop in demand, and its strong belief in the future of Sony’s TV division, has motivated the sale of the VAIO branch of its business.
The deal could be signed as soon as March 2014 with Sony no longer designing or developing PC products. Manufacturing will cease when its final VAIO range goes on sale globally.
Although the computing arm had been losing money amid a wider slump in the PC market, VAIO has always been associated with high-end design, and the line counted Steve Jobs amongst its admirers.
Sony will instead focus on mobile tech – smartphones and tablets – as well as strengthening its TV and PlayStation offerings. Still, losing an entire PC business will see it cut 5,000 jobs, with 1,500 of those based in Japan.
The deal is expected to be completed by the end of July, and JIP’s new company will initially focus on selling VAIO-branded computers in Japan; it plans to hire between 250 and 300 Sony employees for the venture. Sony is investing 5% of the new company’s capital.
If you’re the proud owner of a VAIO, some good news, though: between them, the two companies are promising to fulfill aftercare warranties. That will probable come as some relief to you.