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Sony exits the PC market

Sony exits the PC market

Sony is to exit the PC market, selling its Vaio division to a Japanese investment group as it concentrates on more profitable ventures including high-end TVs and smartphones.

Sony has officially announced plans to exit the PC market, selling its Vaio division to a Japanese investment group as a plan to stem its overall financial losses.

Earlier this week, Sony denied plans to sell the PC division to Lenovo, but in such a way that didn't rule out a sale to someone else. Now, the reason behind the company's careful wording is clear: it is indeed leaving the PC market altogether, selling its entire PC arm to investment group Japan Industrial Partners.

The move comes as Sony's losses in the PC market mount, dragging down its overall earnings to a loss of around $1.1 billion for its latest financial year. With the Vaio arm making the biggest loss overall, it's natural the company would be looking to trim the fat - although that will come as little consolation for the 5,000 workers, 1,500 in Japan and 3,500 internationally, who are to be out of a job as a result of the sale.

Sony also confirmed that it would be spinning off its display division into a separate company, and concentrating purely on high-end HDTV and UHDTV sets in the future. While its TV arm has been making a loss of late, the company predicts a return to profit by the end of financial year 2014.

Sony will continue to produce home entertainment products, including its latest PS4 console, in-house with no plans as yet to sell or spin off any other business units.

19 Comments

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rollo 6th February 2014, 11:22 Quote
Not a big shock the wording of the announcement before kinda of said were selling just not to them.
megamale 6th February 2014, 13:32 Quote
A bit sad to be honest. I always loved Vaio laptops. The competition to Apple on the high-end seems to be eroding.
rollo 6th February 2014, 15:54 Quote
Apples unit sales are a lot higher is only reason it bothers I'd imagine. So much of there revenue is now iphone / iPad based.

Surprised its not happened sooner as it's been loosing money quater after quater.

Sony been trying to get rid of there loss making departments for a while. They pulled out of there joint tv venture not so long ago also. Which was also loosing cash.
sandys 6th February 2014, 16:10 Quote
Shame they are one of the few laptops makers who do machines I covet, of course I never buy from them (well I have one Vaio) as they are pricey and I treat laptops like basket balls :D and seem to buy a new one every 6 months so keep it cheap.
schmidtbag 6th February 2014, 17:44 Quote
Sonys were a little too expensive for my taste, but I agree that it was nice to have REAL high-end hardware instead of polished turds like Macbooks.

I would have much rather seen a company like Gateway sell out, but oh well. On at least one positive note, less OEMs means the other brands will end up with more customers, reducing the chances of them having to shut down too.
rollo 6th February 2014, 17:57 Quote
Not a lot of high end manufactures left in computers. All In ones they made and ultrabooks there viaos where nice bits of kit be a big loss to those that wanted a windows high end machine.
Unicorn 6th February 2014, 18:02 Quote
No it's not. There are still plenty of high end Windows laptop manufacturers left, and Sony Vaios were pretty poor in recent years. I've personally put more replacement cases and hinges on Vaio laptops than any other range. For supposedly high end business laptops, the quality was pretty poor in places.
Nexxo 6th February 2014, 18:43 Quote
High-end Samsung and Asus laptops are still excellent alternatives to the MacBook.
DC74 6th February 2014, 18:46 Quote
That's a bad idea to specialize in one or two products, putting all your eggs in one basket has nearly always resulted in failure. How many companies have we seen in recent years file for bankruptcy after slimming down and deciding to make just one or two products? It's a real shame I liked Sony VAIO machines, my nephew bought one a few years ago and it's still working fine and he says it's a good bit of kit.
rainbowbridge 6th February 2014, 21:14 Quote
"While its TV arm has been making a loss of late, the company predicts a return to profit by the end of financial year 2014".


Yeah when just about any one who knows any thing about any thing will be donning a oculus rift HD and sitting in front of a virtual home theatre.


Huge TV's are current but not tomorrow, tomorrow will be, well every one knows, virtual retina display with above 4k image resolution pixeless, and total immersion via rift with huge nice and clear as large as you like virtual displays.

Sure we will buy TVs but banking on it being your get out of jail card just when the whole world is about to change (for the better) is stupid.


Also no offense to Sony, but it took palmer to bring the rift to us, NOT YOU, you had some stupid heads up unit which was not good enough and hopefully you will be punished for not doing what was expected of you, you along with another long line of company's that could have brought us the rift along time ago.

Also sorry just to put the knife in but how can the Sony PC division be lost making? They cost a MINT, they are for rich people, you don't get just standard people buying sony viao laptops, they are a bold fashion statement and there is a serious mark up on them (just like apple).

Were is all the money going on the Sony products,? they have a lovely design but surely each unit is having some 15 to 20% margin.


Every thing Sony makes I hear about is "lose making", what is sony actually making money on yakooza brothels?
rollo 6th February 2014, 22:52 Quote
Sony are to big to fail or they may of went years back. They have made little in any money in 5 years a lot of negative quarters.

As long as the jap government / banks back them Sony will exist forever.

Margin means nothing if you don't sell anything of it.
wafflesomd 7th February 2014, 01:04 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by DC74
That's a bad idea to specialize in one or two products, putting all your eggs in one basket has nearly always resulted in failure. How many companies have we seen in recent years file for bankruptcy after slimming down and deciding to make just one or two products? It's a real shame I liked Sony VAIO machines, my nephew bought one a few years ago and it's still working fine and he says it's a good bit of kit.

It depends on the industry but in general you've got it backwards. Business often fail due to lack of focus with their products and expanding into too many markets.
SexyHyde 7th February 2014, 01:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowbridge
Yeah when just about any one who knows any thing about any thing will be donning a oculus rift HD and sitting in front of a virtual home theatre.

I personally don't think they will. They will be for gaming and you might watch tv solo occasionally on a rift. Thing is, TV watching is a group activity. Plus the not being visually aware of your surroundings will put a lot of people off, just thinking about it will put people off.

Oh and the internet needs to get way faster for everyone if we are all going to be watching 4K. 4K is years off. Cheap mass produced sets are at least 2 years away. Blu-Ray is too small and BRXL is only available with compatible BR players. 4K broadcasting is way further in the future. Plus 8K! My feeling is if they set up the right conditions for 4K with enough headroom, we could just end up moving straight to 8K.

Remember how everyone said we were going to be rid of the keyboard and mouse by now as we would be swiping and tapping screens. Except you can only do it for 5 mins before you get arm ache.
liratheal 7th February 2014, 10:00 Quote
Oh thank god. Fewer Vaios to look at!
Nexxo 7th February 2014, 10:18 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
Remember how everyone said we were going to be rid of the keyboard and mouse by now as we would be swiping and tapping screens. Except you can only do it for 5 mins before you get arm ache.

We are swiping and tapping screens. They just happen to be in our laps. Details...
sandys 7th February 2014, 10:38 Quote
Triming the fat and saving money, makes sense, they have been pretty shrewd and on the ball of late, they look to be going the right way about things.

I wonder if Lenovo keep the Vaio brand alive with similar values?
mdshann 8th February 2014, 04:29 Quote
Poor quality and high cost of replacement parts. Good riddance.
koola 8th February 2014, 12:06 Quote
Not that I've ever owned a Sony laptop, it's sad for consumers. I wonder if the new owner has plans to rebrand and continue or is just interested in other assets i.e. patents.
NethLyn 8th February 2014, 21:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Sony are to big to fail or they may of went years back. They have made little in any money in 5 years a lot of negative quarters.

As long as the jap government / banks back them Sony will exist forever.

Margin means nothing if you don't sell anything of it.

For at least the past three years Sony's been rolling in Blu Ray royalties including the licences from other firms using the format, and now a new console as well? Whatever they lose on the box they get back on the PSN, they'll be fine.

As for the Vaios, great looking but I'm surprised they stayed in the market for this long after IBM left the Thinkpads to Lenovo. Hopefully this JIP hedge fund will do a Lenovo and keep the designs similar if not the same.
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