Confirmed: Sony Sells Its VAIO PC Business To Japan Industrial Partners

Sony Windows 8 Slider

Sony, one of the popular Windows OEM known for its high-end machines today announced its sale of VAIO PC business to Japan Industrial Partners. So, Sony won’t be releasing/selling VAIO Windows devices once the deal is over.

Read more about it below.

Sony and Japan Industrial Partners Inc. (“JIP”) today concluded a memorandum of understanding confirming the parties’ intent for Sony to sell to JIP Sony’s PC business currently operated under the VAIO brand.

Following a comprehensive analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony’s overall business portfolio and strategy, the need for continued support of Sony’s valued VAIO customers, and future employment opportunities for personnel involved in the VAIO business, the Company has determined that concentrating its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and transferring its PC business to a new company established by JIP is the optimal solution. Sony and JIP will now proceed with due diligence and negotiate detailed terms and conditions of the business transfer, targeting the conclusion of a definitive agreement by the end of March 2014. Following reevaluation of the product lineup, the new company is expected initially to concentrate on sales of consumer and corporate PCs in the Japanese market and seek to optimize its sales channels and scale of operations, while evaluating possible further geographic expansion.

As a part of the business transfer to JIP, Sony will cease planning, design and development of PC products. Manufacturing and sales will also be discontinued after the Spring 2014 lineup to be launched globally. Even after Sony withdraws from the PC market, Sony customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services. Approximately 250 to 300 Sony Corporation and Sony EMCS Corporation employees involved in PC operations, including planning, design, development, manufacturing and sales, are expected to be hired by the new company established by JIP. Sony will also explore opportunities for other employees to be transferred to other businesses within the Sony Group. For employees of Sony Corporation and Sony EMCS Corporation that are not hired by the new company or transferred within the Sony Group, Sony plans to also offer an early retirement support program to assist their reemployment outside of the Sony Group.

  • Tips_y

    I wonder how the sale impacts a prospective WP device from Sony. Also, as someone here suggested, they use VAIO as the name of their possible WP device… but with this sale, I guess that’s not going to happen ever at all.
    Hopefully, they still come up with a WP device to augment their Android offerings. As for the name, they can always come up with a new one.
    Although Xperia begun life as a brand for their WP line, I guess that can’t be used anymore since it’s now fully identified as Android.

    • efjay

      Sony obviously has bigger problems to be worrying about making an OS with 3% market share.

    • Bugbog

      Most likely they’re still on track to make one this year. The Vaio divestiture will probably allow them to be much more nimble.

      The people one needs to feel sorry for all the Retail Merchants that license the Vaio name for their stores, with Sony products front and center! What does this mean for their business; can they still use the name, or will they have to change it? How does this affect their product range now that the new owners will be turning inwards and forgoing the international market. (Which, although prudent, is atypical of a lot of once international Japanese businesses).

  • Tips_:(

    Killed by windows 8 :/

    • pepe

      On the contrary, this is why Microsoft made Windows 8. It was clear that the PC industry was dead.

      • Bugbog

        No. It was clear that the technology had arrived to enable the PC form factor to evolve!

        PC’s are still here, and aren’t going anywhere, any time soon. The only realisation now is that manufacturers can no longer depend on customers/consumers repurchasing PC’s every 18months they way they used to over the last 15years. We are now satisfied (in the home, at least) with the “good enough” phenomenon; wherein the devices we use at home can perform the tasks required and we no longer care how old they are or what they look like.

        That look, feel, and perform desire has now been transferred to the smartphone, which is still in a state of flux and has yet to stabilise.

        I still recall an advert from over 10 years ago (dumbphone era) wherein the manufacturer was showing that we should care more about what our handheld device looked like than we should about our personal attire. And that is still currently the case with smartphones, where, usually, the cost of the device can still determine the look/feel and performance levels.

        Once form-factor and performance plateau’s then the smartphone market will become what the [legacy] PC market is today.

    • smity smiter

      In that case, shouldn’t all of them be selling off? Lenovo PCs seem to be making good profit.

  • Nham Thien Duong

    I really hope that Japan Industrial Partners will produce Windows Phones under the Viao brand, it would be awesome. 😀 Though I still hope that Sony will produce Windows-powered devices.