This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com
Sony is leaving the PC business to focus more on developing tablets and smartphones as part of a strategy announced nearly two years ago to reform its electronics business.
The company said Wednesday it will sell its VAIO PC business to investment firm Japan Industrial Partners. The sale is expected to be completed by the end of March, said Sony, which also reported quarterly earnings today.
Sony is also restructuring its TV business to focus on grabbing a larger proportion of sales from high-end models in fiscal year 2014, particularly its ultra high-definition 4K TV sets. The company will split out the TV business and operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary and accelerate plans to speed up cost-cutting efforts it already started in an effort to return the unit to profitability by the end of March 2015. The split should be complete by July 2014, Sony said.
The two measures, along with changes to its manufacturing, sales and support functions, will mean layoffs—and lots of them. The company said about 5,000 jobs (1,500 in Japan and 3,500 overseas) will be eliminated by the end of its fiscal year. The restructuring costs are expected to reach 70 billion yen (or about $687 million).
The move makes sense considering that PC sales continue to fall and staying in the business would require going up against market leaders Lenovo and of course, Apple, which according to research firm Canalys achieved a 19.5 percent piece of global, combined PC and tablet sales in the fourth quarter of 2013.