Tech giants Sony and Lenovo are holding talks to thrash out details of a potential joint venture aimed at revitalizing the loss-making Vaio PC business, according to reports.
Japanese firm Sony's Vaio PCs, which include hybrids and laptops, have become a loss maker for the company. As the slump hits Sony's profit margins, the company said it plans to revamp the Vaio business and manufacturing strategy -- but as more consumers than ever turn to smartphones and tablets, PC popularity continues to dwindle -- and Sony has predicted its PC business would stay firmly in the red for the rest of the fiscal year.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported Saturday that Sony and Lenovo have hosted talks as part of the revamp, which could result in a joint venture between the two companies.
In response to the report, Sony issued a rapid, blunt reply refuting the report:
"A press report on February 1, 2014 stated that Sony Corporation ("Sony") is discussing with Lenovo Group ("Lenovo") the possible establishment of a joint venture for the PC business. As Sony has announced previously, Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate."
This sort of quick response outside of trading on a weekend is unusual, and may indicate that in order to preserve itself legally, Sony has pushed forward such denial to make sure shareholders are not misled -- but in turn, it could mean that the tech giant is in talks with a different firm, or with Lenovo for other reasons than a "possible PC business alliance."
Last week, Chinese PC giant Lenovo said it was purchasing Google's Motorola Mobility handset unit for $2.91 billion, just two years after Google acquired the unit for over $12 billion. Lenovo, which recently bought IBM's x86 server business, now has access to patents licensed by Motorola as part of an ongoing deal with the search engine giant.