Sony plans to sell its VAIO division
Sony launched the VAIO brand in the US back in 1997, first standing as an acronym for Video Audio Integrated Operation which changed to Visual Audio Intelligent Organizer a decade later. The VAIO brand made its debut with the PCV series of desktops and now can also be found on media centers, notebooks and subnotebooks. Unfortunately, it seems the history of this iconic brand may come to an abrupt end as Sony rethinks its strategy and shifts its focus to smartphones.
Asia-focused English-language publication The Nikkei claims Sony is in talks with Japan Industrial Partners to sell its entire PC business for a price estimated at $391 million to $489 million. The plan involves the creation of a new company that will take over Sony's VAIO PC division and, according to the news report, this company will continue to sell VAIO products, as well as handling after-sales operations.
The VAIO PC division currently has about 1,000 employees and many of them will move to the new company, including its executives. Some of the remaining staff will join various departments within Sony. Even more, it is possible for Sony's facility in Nagano to continue production and R&D after the anticipated move.
In conclusion, VAIO will not die but will undergo a rather discrete transformation, at least to the consumer's eye. Remains to be seen what will come out of it, since it is possible for VAIO to become nothing more than a niche local brand after it managed to peak at 8.7 million units delivered in a fiscal year in the past.