Sony exits PCs and sharpens axe to trim costs

Sony has confirmed it will exit the PC market and added that it plans to axe 5,000 staff by the end of the year

Tough market conditions in the PC world have taken their toll on Sony leading the vendor to take the decision to pull the plug on its Vaio unit and sell it off to restructuring specialists.

As expected the vendor confirmed that it would offload its Vaio business with Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) taking control, with Sony maintaining a 5% stake in the operation, scotching suggestions that Lenovo might have been the suitor.

But along with exiting the PC space the vendor will also take the axe to 5,000 staff by the end of the year as it looks to trim its costs and will take a hit from restructuring, forcing it to project an annual loss of 110Bn Yen, compared to the 30Bn Yen profits it had been earlier predicting.

"Following a comprehensive analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry, Sony's overall business portfolio and strategy, the need for continued support of Sony's valued VAIO customers, and future employment opportunities for personnel involved in the VAIO business, Sony has determined that the optimal solution is to concentrate its mobile product lineup on smartphones and tablets and to transfer its PC business to a new company established by JIP that will enable the continuation of the VAIO branded PC business," stated the firm.

"As a part of the sale to JIP, Sony will cease planning, design and development of PC products. Sony's manufacturing and sales will be discontinued after the Spring 2014 lineup. Even after Sony's withdrawal from the PC market, Sony customers will continue to receive aftercare customer services," the firm added.

At the start of the year the firm, which also has a pedigree in the hardware console market, indicated that it increasingly viewed the cloud as a route to deliver content to users.


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