The rumour has turned out to be true: Sony will be selling off its VAIO PC division to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), as confirmed by the company’s announcement earlier today. The company has also announced that Sony will be splitting its TV business into a new, wholly-owned subsidiary. The reason behind both of these moves is because Sony believes that both divisions will not be able to return to profitability within the end of it 2013 fiscal year on 31 March 2014.
As part of the deal, Sony’s PC business will be transferred to a new company that will be opened and operate by JIP. Based in Nagano Technology Site which is the current home of Sony’s PC business operation, the new company is expected to absorb around 250 to 300 current Sony employees that are involved in Sony’s PC business. 5-perecent out of the new company’s capital will also come from Sony’s pocket.
With that, all the product planning, design, and development under Sony’s PC division will cease very soon. In fact, Sony will also cease PC manufacturing and sales after rolling out its Spring 2014 line-up. That being said, Sony has guaranteed that customers will continue to receive after-sales service for their VAIO products even though the company no longer in the PC market.
Once everything in place, the new owner of Sony VAIO PC division will concentrate the brand’s effort in Japanese market first. That means, the availability of VAIO devices under the new ownership will be initially limited to Japan only although the company has stated that it will continue to evaluate other markets outside the country.
As for its TV business, Sony believes that the split will help drive the division to be more competitive and efficient. The company is also planning to put more focus on high-end TV models starting from next fiscal year while at the same time, Sony also plans to launch new models in emerging market that are specially developed to cater local needs.
All in all, both moves will result in a reduction of around 5,000 staff by the end of Sony’s 2014 fiscal year. Out of this number, 1500 people will be from Japan while 3500 people will involved staff from the company’s operations throughout the world.