Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

Summary: If Apple doesn't have a problem letting other manufacturers build its iPads, iPhones, and iPods, then maybe that's not such a bad idea—at least it may explain why Sony is planning to add a second division of laptops that it won't be building itself.A Sony exec told PC Pro that the electronics giant is splitting its laptop business into two divisions: the first one still built by Sony itself, with the second one built by partners but still sold under the Sony name.

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If Apple doesn't have a problem letting other manufacturers build its iPads, iPhones, and iPods, then maybe that's not such a bad idea—at least it may explain why Sony is planning to add a second division of laptops that it won't be building itself.

A Sony exec told PC Pro that the electronics giant is splitting its laptop business into two divisions: the first one still built by Sony itself, with the second one built by partners but still sold under the Sony name. The second-division notebooks would have the "taste of VAIO, the style of VAIO" and share some of the features of the first-division VAIOs. The primary difference would be that Sony would put the latest hardware into the VAIOs it manufactures, while the third-party laptops would get that hardware later, when it would presumably be cheaper.

While Sony's prices have come down in general, as have every notebook manufacturers', margins are slimmer, too. To meet the company's aggressive sales goals (10 million VAIOs sold in 2010), it has clearly figured out that it needs to outsource some manufacturing, though Sony claims that “The quality criteria itself is no different between division number one and division number two.” It's backing up that claim by selling the division-two laptops under the VAIO name, but if there's any difference in quality with the outsourced portables, it could wind up tarnishing the brand instead.

[Via Engadget from PC Pro]

Topics: Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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26 comments
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  • I'd buy a VAIO laptop if...

    I'd buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't price it.
    ijcopon925
    • me too.

      but still the specifications of some Vaio are top-notch and most people are willing to pay premium for it.
      magallanes
  • I might buy a Non-Sony Sony laptop

    If it had a Firewire input and NO Blu-ray support.

    And a price tag like Acer or Compaq.
    Vokar
  • They may have already put it into practice

    Just bought two Sony Vaio E series notebooks. These
    are the latest devices in VAIO lineup. Touchpads on
    both machines (manufacturer - ALPS), heat up
    dramatically. Very disappointed. Whats up with
    notebook manufacturers these days, are there any
    notebook that run coool on a solid surface, without
    using a cooling base. Vostros and Inspirons have palm
    rest heat up, most of the others have base sheet
    heat up, MacBook Pros are actually using their
    aluminium bases as heat sinks. In a tropical country
    like India, these machines are very off-putting to
    use, unless you stay in a carefully temperature
    regulated environment.
    iravgupta
  • RE: Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

    I have a VAIO I bought in 2008.. LOVE IT. Awesome quality.
    condelirios
    • Get a Mac. Worry Free!

      :)
      jasonsandiego
      • Exactly

        I would buy a Sony Viao if it were a Windows based PC made by Apple.
        Less expensive than a Mac but well made and reliable. Realistically Apple
        and Sony should just be partners. I bet they could even write a unix OS
        for running Windows software than wouldn't suck.
        jeff.fostermedia@...
  • apple fud

    ALL computers of any brand are assembled by third party manufacturers.
    not only apple's. be it dell, hp or sony or any other (with the exception of
    acer and asus probably).

    but all companies design and engineer them themselves. only the
    assembling process is outsourced. until now.

    now sony makes a first move to outsource engineering and design as
    well and only slap their brand on it.

    the ridiculously low margin business of the windows pc box assemblers
    cries for desperate measures. poor.
    bannedfromzdnetagain
    • Add Fujitsu to that list...

      I hear they too handle everything about their
      notebooks themselves.
      iravgupta
    • Not exactly

      Most of them source their parts from outside.

      Dell assembles their systems in house. parts are sourced.

      Toshiba has the majority of manufacturing all in house.

      Others are various combinations.
      pjboyles
  • My Toshiba stays cool...

    I'll comment that my TOSHIBA Satellite (L505D-S5986 AMD Athlon II M300(2.0GHz) 15.6" 3GB Memory 250GB HDD ATI Radeon 4100) Notebook, purchased in Nov. 2009, runs surprisingly cool.
    randysmith@...
    • My HP stays cool!

      I have a TouchSmart Tm2 by HP and it stays very cool under heavy use. I really didn't expect that from HP :-)
      bvonr@...
  • RE: Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

    because i would not buy anything that is made by sony or has the sony name, after long bad experiences, this change means nothing to me, and probably to many others
    erglazier
  • or not . . .

    I wouldn't buy a VAIO period. I have had too many
    problems with other Sony products in the past that WERE
    NOT inherently-problematic Windows PCs.

    Bottom line is that I am not ignorant enough to invite
    even more trouble with another level of complexity.
    twirth5
  • RE: Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

    What are you talking about? Most VAIOs I've seen uses parts from third party manufacturers and they're not always from good sources. I've not seen any VAIO with a known brand memory (RAM). Even things like memory stick readers and CD/DVD drive are not from Sony. The only thing branded "Sony" in a VAIO it's only the screen lid and palm rest, nothing more.
    ahumeniy
  • RE: Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

    If it looks like Sony, smells like Sony, branded by Sony-- it's a Sony. I.E. A Sony by any other name is still a pungent as dung!
    I too have had superiorly bad customer support assistance from Sony-- even with my PS1 and PS2 with simple questions and disc read errors...

    My friend had a VAIO and I called for customer assistance. Sony's representative had the audacity to yell at me for calling and interrupting whatever it was he was doing, hanging up on me in the process. I called back, lodged a formal complaint with a supervisor, was on hold for nearly an hour and still got the same guy that yelled at me. I asked to talk to his supervisor or corporate manager, he refused then told me to "go <expletive removed> yourself" and hung up again. I went online to another location for the VAIO and did their "contact us" link. I put it all there. I got a prompt response back, almost immediately, and got a huge apology for the disservice. I was not impressed with their so-called 'customer' service. They offered me a free lifetime support help, but I declined! No one should have to put up with this kind of manic frustration!

    I ended up telling her about her issues, solving the problems with some drivers and downloading the older ones since the newer ones refused to install, and caused my anti-virus to report infected software-- the reason for the call in the first place.

    No longer having that laptop, she's been a proud owner of an HP laptop for the last 3 years-- with a recent upgrade of Windows 7 Ultimate. :)
    aryu.limitless@...
  • RE: Would you buy a VAIO laptop if Sony didn't make it? You may soon get a chance.

    Other question - would you still use a napster if sony hadn't screwed with it?
    inkwell
  • Stupid... Sony... Typical...

    Sony needs to decide if it is a lifestyle company like Apple, or a manufacturing company like HTC, or both. It is like they think their manufacturing division has some value to add to their premium line. Apple has discovered this isn't true even in the luxury segment.

    There is no reason Sony couldn't spec laptops for its premium Vaio or cheap Vaio line, and then have Sony Mfg and contract manufacturers bid to build them. But it is retarted to risk watering down the Vaio name with less capable hardware. They should rename the cheaper line V2 or something evoking the Vaio name but without putting it at risk.

    Anyway I won't be buying a Sony laptop as long as they are making money off it. Out of principle I won't do business with a company that actively tries to lock down its hardware with proprietary features, charges more for replacement products, and puts rootkits on customers computers.
    colinnwn
  • Don't Think So.

    I have owned Sony laptops for over 10 years. Yes, they both still work well after some hardware upgrades.I supposed I will just have to buy the "real Sony".
    tiredpolitico
  • I won't buy anything Sony gets money from

    after installing rootkits on computers and generally treating consumers like mindless sheep I will never again buy anything they profit from...
    bowened