Sony has sold its 18-year-old Vaio PC business to Japan Industrial Partners and will now focus on smartphones, tablets and their newly split TV business. After days of speculation the company has finally gone ahead with the deal for an undisclosed amount in a bid to solve their ongoing financial issues and refocus its efforts on their smartphone and tablet line-up.
The news was made official by the company on Thursday in a statement citing “drastic changes in the global PC industry” as a reason for the sale. This statement is a reference to the fact that PCs are being replaced with tablets by many users and the company’s percentage of share in the PC market had gone down to less than two percent in recent years.
Sony also announced that their TV division will be split out into a wholly-owned subsidiary to help them “transform this business into a more efficient and dynamic organization”. The renewed efforts to realign its TV business come with an aim to concentrate on high-end TV sets for the 4K market. Sony claims that it is already a market leader for 4K televisions in Japan and the U.S. and it looks to turn a profit from TVs in their 2014 fiscal year. While the new TV business works on improving colour and quality for new products, the company will continue to sell its 2K models.
By end of 2014 the Japanese firm will cut around 5,000 jobs — 1,500 in Japan alone and 3,500 overseas in a major restructuring move. Around 250 to 300 Sony employees will be transferred to JIP as part of the Vaio division sale. The exact layoffs from both the PC and TV divisions are still unknown. The move comes as an attempt to ease Sony’s financial struggles as the company expects to report a full-year loss of $1.08 billion for 2013.
JIP on the other hand said that it will first focus on consumers and corporates in the Japanese market to evaluate “possible further geographic expansion”. Customers can expect to see Vaio models being removed from stores. Sony will however continue to provide customer service to those who have already bought Sony Vaio machines.
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