Alongside their announcement today of Q3 earnings, Japanese electronics manufacturer Sony announced that they would be selling their VAIO PC division. The deal with Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) is set to be completed by March 2014, and comes as the tide is shifting for PC purchases.
While worldwide PC sales are down in general compared to rising mobile and tablet sales, VAIO (introduced in 1996) specifically has struggled in the past decade with not offering affordable options, and lacking a marketing edge compared to other PC brands. From October to December, Sony’s Mobile Products & Communications unit, which includes VAIO, suffered operating losses of ¥12.6 billion (about $123 million USD).
Sony will continue to produce tablets and smartphones, and will also focus more on their Playstation and television units (including splitting their TV development into its own business). Sony has said they will still honor all aftercare warranties on their devices after the VAIO sale. Whether JIP continues to manufacture PCs under the VAIO name is currently unknown, but expect to see the computers disappear from most markets soon (at least in the short term).