Sony considers sale of Vaio PC business

Sony considers sale of Vaio PC business

Summary: Sony is in talks with an investment company about selling its Vaio PC business.

TOPICS: PCs, Laptops

Sony is in talks to offload its PC business to an investment fund for around $490m, according to reports.

A report in the Nikkei Asian Review said that Sony is in discussion with Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), which recently bought BigGlobe, one of Japan's biggest ISPs, from NEC.

According to Nikkei, JIP is setting up a fund that will establish a new company to take over Sony's entire Vaio PC business. The sale price is estimated to be 40 billion yen to 50 billion yen ($391 million to $489 million), according to the Nikkei report.

Sony today issued a statement to say that the company has made no announcement on its future in PCs and the future of the Vaio brand.

"As Sony has announced previously," read the statement, "Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but Sony has no further comments."

Last Saturday, Sony issued a denial after rumours it was going to sell its PC business to Lenovo. In a very similar statement the company said then that it was continuing to look at its options for the PC business but was not ready to make an announcement.

According to the analysts Gartner, PC shipments fell 10 percent in 2013, returning to 2009 levels, marking the worst ever decline.

More on Vaio

Topics: PCs, Laptops


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • $490

    That is cheaper than most of their notebooks currently! :-O
    • What a deal

      At to think that I paid $2K for my current Sony hybrid when I could have gotten the whole company for $490. Oh, I read the rest of the article. He did correct it to $490 million. Still a deal but beyond my budget.

      When you shop and look at laptops and hybrids closely it is amazing how many times Sony wins. They have often be technology leaders while the top 3 biggies are most just followers. Quality has been very competitive also. I have often wondered why they never got that big of market share.

      By the way, I have a 15.5" hybrid, digitizing touch, i7, and most important a 2880 x 1620 display. That is leadership.
      • Doing business with Sony

        A few years ago, I quit buying Sony products due to the proprietary tie-ins of their hardware and software (Memory Stick anyone?)

        I believe Sony has pretty much changed their ways, and I would reconsider Sony products again. However, by doing without Sony for a decade I learned that the Sony price premium usually did not buy me anything I would miss. In any given category of consumer electronics, the Sony product is usually not the front-runner or the big name any more. But I will take a closer look at their offerings when I buy.
        thinking about consequences
    • Why do you think they never made any money at it?

  • Knowing SONY's backwards thinking

    they considered the vaio biz to simply be a Memory Stick delivery device
    • Good point. :-)

      The silliness of trying to force a proprietary device.
  • The Apple tax for Windows users

    Basically Apple copied Sony's business model. Steve Jobs was always impressed years ago with Sony's ability to keep higher margins on products given the impression at least that they were a bit better then the rest. I guess the consumer has lost interest in buying a bit better. They want cheap. Even Apple will eventually suffer some of this as people move away from $1200 notebooks and buy $300 Chromebooks or whatever. Heck you can buy a tablet for under $500.
    Even Apple's iPad has hurt Mac sales. Sony has virtually no tablet that can even compete on price.
    Their notebooks are regarded as premium in many models but you pay that Sony tax for them. Its just like TV's nobody is willing to pay a lot for TV's anymore. Sure, maybe a few of the 1% but the rest of us buy a bargain. I used to buy Mac's and I bought my Wife a Sony Vaio laptop. Both Mac's and Vaio's are certainly nice but I can do with less and never think twice.