Sony selling PC business, says sayonara to Vaio

Vaio PCs to go to JIP IF ASAP (or at least PDQ)

Vaio PCs to go to JIP IF, ASAP (or at least PDQ).

Sony (NYSE:SNE) has announced a deal to sell its Vaio PC business to Japan Industrial Partners, a company that specializes in manufacturing sector investment and turnaround. Revelations that Sony is closing the kimono on its PC business leaves more than a few bloggers shocked. Earlier in the week, rumors of a Vaio buyout by Lenovo proved false, driving down Lenovo shares by 16% before Sony issued a statement denying such gossip.

Saying sayonara to Vaio and desktop PCs, Sony intends to place more emphasis on mobile and high-end consumer devices, just like everyone else.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers say adios, ciao, and goodbye to Sony Vaio.

Filling in for our humble blogwatcher Richi Jennings, is a humbler Stephen Glasskeys.

 

There is no time like the present for Tim Hornyak:

Struggling electronics giant Sony painted a rosy picture of its future at CES...but it will likely have to shed divisions that are battling intense headwinds.

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Last week, Sony denied press reports that it was trying to sell its PC unit to Lenovo. This week, another potential buyer has been mooted: Tokyo-based investment fund Japan Industrial Partners (JIP).

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Sony's...market share has been shrinking, falling to 1.9 percent of worldwide PC shipments in the third quarter...down from 2.3 percent a year earlier, according to...IDC. Ranked ninth, Sony shipped 1.5 million units during the quarter, down from 2 million.  MORE

 

Buyer Sam Byford is wheeling and dealing:

Sony has announced plans to sell off its VAIO computer division. ... JIP will take control...and Sony will "cease planning, design and development of PC products."

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JIP's new company will initially focus on selling VAIO-branded computers in Japan; it plans to hire between 250 and 300 Sony employees.  MORE

 

Straight from the uma's mouth:

Manufacturing and sales will also be discontinued after the Spring 2014 lineup to be launched globally. ... Sony customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services.

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Sony will proceed with the further optimization of manufacturing and other operations.   MORE

 

And Brooke Crothers takes a bow:

Sony wouldn't be the first Japanese player to bow out of the PC business. NEC...handed over control of its PC business to Lenovo in 2011.

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And even China-based Lenovo...is putting increasing emphasis on smartphones these days, evidenced by its planned purchase of Motorola's handset business.

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Earlier speculation that Sony was in talks with Lenovo were inaccurate, Sony claims.  MORE

 

Tired of her PC, Ina Fried grabs a remote:

Sony said...it plans to get out of the PC business and restructure its TV business to focus largely on higher-end models.

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[Sony] CEO Kaz Hirai said at CES that 4K TVs would be a focus, but hinted that further restructuring of that business might be needed.

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"When this commoditization of 4K TVs comes along...we need to have an organization that is working...with the lowest cost but with the highest quality...to make sure we are withstanding the wave of price reductions that we will inevitably see," Hirai said.  MORE

 

Meanwhile, Catherine Shu spins, cycles, and turns around:

While the PlayStation 4 has done very well, selling 4 million units during the holidays, [they] have very thin margins...and are not expected to generate significant profit until later.

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Sony had reported that demand for PCs was slowing down in previous financial statements, but said just yesterday that it was still considering various options for VAIO.

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But it was clear that Sony had to take action quickly. At the end of January...Moody's cut Sony's rating from Baa3 to Ba1, meaning that it now considers the company a speculative investment...mak[ing] it harder for Sony to borrow money.  MORE

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