Sony To Stop Making PCs And Focus On Mobile
On February 6th it was revealed that Sony is planning to sell its struggling PC business to a Japanese investment firm, known as Japan International Partners (JIP). Whilst a price hasn’t been placed on the sale as of yet, a report in Nikkei (a Japanese business daily) has estimated that the purchase will fall somewhere between 4 and 5 billion AU dollars.
The “Vaio” brand, which Sony introduced in 1996, could disappear from the shelves altogether, at least temporarily, because JIP currently only has plans to sell to the Japanese market. It has also been revealed that as many as 5000 jobs will be lost, 1500 in Japan and 3500 overseas, as a part of the reforms. 250 to 300 staff will, however, be hired by the new company.
Sony will discontinue making and selling PCs after its 2014 Spring lineup has been released, although they will continue to make tablet computers as a part of their improved focus on mobile devices. It is also unclear whether Sony will continue to produce products using the Vaio brand or whether it will be handed over completely to JIP.
There have also been reports that Sony is planning to turn its TV business into a wholly owned subsidiary as early as July 2014. The company has seen success by doing the same with Sony Mobile Communications (which covers smartphones) and Sony Computer Entertainment (which covers the popular PlayStation video game consoles), so hopes for the same results.
Kazuo Hirai, Sony President and CEO, said that his “mission is to achieve a turnaround of the electronics business and to further grow it to contribute to the Sony group as a whole.” Damian Thong, an analyst at Macquarie Securities, said “the key for Sony now is to balance the need to get costs down, and the imperative to deliver stellar products that will ignite consumer interest”.