Thursday, February 6th 2014

Sony to Sell VAIO Brand, PC Division

Sony is reportedly disposing of the iconic VAIO brand, and with it, its PC division. The brand and its assets will be sold off to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), much in the same way as IBM disposed its PC business and Thinkpad brands over to Lenovo (which was a major supplier to IBM at the time). We won't see the last of VAIO notebooks, Ultrabooks, tablets, and convertibles, only that they won't be sold by Sony. The deal is part of Sony's larger efforts to shed underperforming businesses.

JIP could establish a new PC company from the assets it buys off Sony. In all likelihood, the VAIO brand could be retained, although the company's name itself hasn't been finalized. The new company will see Sony transfer 300 of its employees, to jump-start operations. The MoU signed between Sony and JIP seems to suggest that the company will prioritize Japan over global markets, in what is a similar strategy to Lenovo's. The Chinese company, after acquiring IBM's PC assets, focused its efforts on capturing the Chinese domestic markets with not just PCs, but also smartphones and tablets.


Source: Sony
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12 Comments on Sony to Sell VAIO Brand, PC Division

#1
FreedomEclipse
~Technological Technocrat~
They made some nice laptops, albeit very overpriced for what they were worth and this is where they were failing. My next laptop will be a 13.3" customised XMG laptop for sure. Better customisation and upgrade options are king especially in the long run. You can gut it and install whatever parts you like without having to worry about black or white listed bioses
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#2
NC37
Yeah, tried to be like Apple and it bit them in the butt. Had gotten my mom a Vaio many years ago, then checked into them again when I was shopping for a new laptop. Lot of underpowered laptops for premium prices. Little shocking because the one she got was very decently priced for the performance at the time.

Shame to see Sony exit, but if they can get themselves back on track again, that is good. If JIP can deliver a better product then that would be good when it finally goes global. But unfortunately it'll still most likely be made in China. Last I checked Fujitsu was the only brand still made in Japan but their laptops are all grossly underpowered.

Just need a PC maker, made in Japan, with decent parts. Even if the price is higher, I'd gladly pay more for a non Chinese made machine. Dump my Lenovo in a heartbeat.
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#3
lemonadesoda
I'm sorry to see Vaio go. They brought some fantastic design-leading products to market in the past. They really were the makers of the first "ultra-portables" ten+ years ago. But they have slipped. Premium price for great designs that somehow didn't quite get the manufacturing quality right. Too much plastic and flex on a laptop double the price of a Taiwan/Chinese equivalent isnt going to sell. Apple still sell at premium prices because their cases and branding is premium - Sony slipped.
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#4
tigger
I'm the only one
Apple is high priced as it is a boutique item, vaio is not.

I guess if it is not working for them it has to go.
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#5
lemonadesoda
by: tigger
Apple is high priced as it is a boutique item, vaio is not.
Ah, but it was

Their consumer-end models haven't hit the price mark compared to rivals. In recent years, the high-end models have had the tech-spec but not the design/build quality to warrant their premium. In years gone by, Vaio was premium end AND had design/build quality as good if not better than any competition. (old Z series).

I've been "waiting" for the next Vaio buy for literally years. Each model just didnt quite hit the mark. Samsung Series 9 is now taking that space.
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#6
TheinsanegamerN
by: NC37
Yeah, tried to be like Apple and it bit them in the butt. Had gotten my mom a Vaio many years ago, then checked into them again when I was shopping for a new laptop. Lot of underpowered laptops for premium prices. Little shocking because the one she got was very decently priced for the performance at the time.

Shame to see Sony exit, but if they can get themselves back on track again, that is good. If JIP can deliver a better product then that would be good when it finally goes global. But unfortunately it'll still most likely be made in China. Last I checked Fujitsu was the only brand still made in Japan but their laptops are all grossly underpowered.

Just need a PC maker, made in Japan, with decent parts. Even if the price is higher, I'd gladly pay more for a non Chinese made machine. Dump my Lenovo in a heartbeat.
^this. if i could get a laptop not made in china, id pay way more for it. mabye even macbook pro prices, as long as it was not underpowered.

although, while we are in lala land, mabye laptop manufacturers will start adequately cooling their machines, especially the gaming models. and include 8GB ram standard. one can dream..
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#7
tokyoduong
by: lemonadesoda
Ah, but it was

Their consumer-end models haven't hit the price mark compared to rivals. In recent years, the high-end models have had the tech-spec but not the design/build quality to warrant their premium. In years gone by, Vaio was premium end AND had design/build quality as good if not better than any competition. (old Z series).

I've been "waiting" for the next Vaio buy for literally years. Each model just didnt quite hit the mark. Samsung Series 9 is now taking that space.
In the past, I've bought nothing but Sony because I was a windows fan due to its software library and compatibility. I bought nothing but VAIO because it was the best even though it was ultra expensive. However, compared to macbooks, VAIO brand have fallen behind since 2010 in quality. Consequently, so was their sales. The build quality of macbooks barely changed(except the plastic 13" is gone). All aluminum unibody have been the same design and solid construction with minor changes in size and shape.

Recently, VAIO have made their notebook constructions better but it was still grossly overpriced compared to Lenovo. I bought a Lenovo instead even though it was aesthetically and build quality inferior. However, at half the price and 90% of the quality, I can't argue much. After the disappointment of Win8 and MS unwillingness to fix it, I made a leap of faith to Macbooks for mobility. I have to say that side by side comparisons at Microcenter only convinced me further that Macbooks are actually a better value on top of the better construction.

After using my macbook for a year, I am still able to easily sell it for 80% of the price I paid for it. I can't say the same about the VAIO. The construction of the macbook also held solid vs the VAIO that showed its age after just one year. The Apple Care Warranty is second to none. I've never seen no questions asked warranty work that is so convenient and doesn't give me some non-english speaking CR or complex month long system to work through.

My only gripe about Macbooks are the upgrade restrictions. Basically, you cannot upgrade your SSD, RAM or anything for that matter. That's insane that I have to buy a new macbook if I need 16GB of RAM instead of the original 8GB. The original 256GB SSD is also too small. The upgrade premium is huge as well. At the high end, Apple literally have no competition and their prices reflect that.
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#8
Hilux SSRG
Vaio laptops were always pricy but sturdy; they always had eye appeal. I wonder if the company that picks them up, will just waste the brand name with poor products.
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#9
WhiteLotus
I'm actually surprised about this. They are over priced (no idea why) but VAIO is iconic to Sony much like the PlayStation is.
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#10
lZKoce
I've never owned one, but I had a few given to me for a fresh install and maintenance. I clearly remember one of the models was designed in a way, so that when you close the lid to actually leave a slight mark just above the keyboard. I am not particularly sad about them selling the brand name.
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#11
arterius2
by: TheinsanegamerN
^this. if i could get a laptop not made in china, id pay way more for it. mabye even macbook pro prices, as long as it was not underpowered.

although, while we are in lala land, mabye laptop manufacturers will start adequately cooling their machines, especially the gaming models. and include 8GB ram standard. one can dream..
all apple products, including MacBook pros, are made in china.
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#12
remixedcat
Very overpriced. Most people that I knew that had these financed them. LOL. I also rarely seen anyone with those.
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