Usually, rumors that spread about companies tend to manifest into reality or some form of it over a multi-month time span. However, the most recent rumor, regarding Sony selling off its VAIO PC business, is an entirely new beast. Only days after news about the sell off of the premium PC brand began circulate, has Sony come out during their Q3 2013 earnings report to confirm it all. Come Spring, Sony will cease their design, manufacturing, and selling of VAIO. After that, VAIO will be transferred/sold to Japan Industrial Partners. As we’d reported previously, it’s now widely believed that under Japan Industrial Partners, the VAIO brand will be pulled from nearly all territories, including Europe. JIP will begin to focus on Sony’s home turf of Japan though depending on market conditions and success of the brand, they could expand operations once again. Unfortunately as it is with deals like this, a series of layoffs will follow.
Sony has stated that about 250 to 300 Sony employees will transition to JIP while the company will attempt to transfer other employees within the company if possible, and offer early retirement to others. Unlike the West, the act of layoffs is a measure not taken lightly in Asia with many companies sacrificing profitability in order to keep employees. It’s likely that a few thousand employees will lose their jobs once the deal has finalized and taken place. In order to shed further underperforming parts of the company and focus more on core products, Sony also announced the closure of their eReader hardware and services which includes the Reader. While all of this might come as a shock, in hindsight, all the signs where present during CES 2014 where Sony didn’t announce any new VAIO desktops or notebooks, and didn’t display any Readers. All of this of course comes at a interesting time where former Sony President Kunitake Ando revealed that in 2001, he and his executives were approached by Steve Jobs to have Mac OS X run on VAIO computers which makes you wonder what the outcome of Apple and VAIO would have been like. For the record, it was Sony who turned down the proposition.
With VAIO pulling out from most territories, which premium PC brand will you turn to?