Sony selling off its PC business to an investment fund

Nothing is ever set in stone. That’s one thing you really learn about when watching the tech industry. Sony has just announced it is selling its VAIO PC business. In addition it will the TV group its own subsidiary within Sony. In turn, Sony hopes to focus on the mobile unit, specifically on smartphones and tablets.

We first heard that Sony was considering selling off its PC unit yesterday. Here we are, about 24 hours later and it is happening.

Sony’s PC unit will go to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP), a Japanese investment fund. The amount that JIP paid for the PC unit is undisclosed. Sony will cease planning, design and development of PC products. Manufacturing and sales will discontinue after the global launch of the spring 2014 lineup.

 A new company will form around Sony’s VAIO line and products will initially come with VAIO branding. About 250 to 300 Sony employees are expected to be hired in PC operations, planning, design, development, manufacturing, and sales by the new company. Those who don’t make the cut will be assisted in finding reemployment outside Sony.

That’s not all though. The unit responsible for Sony’s televisions will be split out from the company into its own wholly-owned subsidiary. This transition is expected by July 2014.

These moves, selling the PC unit and spinning of the TV unit, will assist Sony in focusing and concentrating on what it sees as its three core businesses: imaging, gaming and mobile. Sadly, it comes at a cost to individuals within the company. About 5,000 employees will need to leave Sony as part of the restructuring efforts. Sony says 1,500 of them are in Japan, while 3,500 are overseas.

What’s this mean for Windows Phone and Windows 8? Well for one, Sony will no longer makes any products running a Microsoft operating system.

We’ve heard rumors of a Sony Windows Phone before in the past, but you can probably count on that not happening. The latest rumors, from this past December, painted a picture where Microsoft and Sony were in talks to make a new Windows Phone handset. That device would reportedly fall under Sony’s VAIO brand. You know, the one they just sold to JIP. So yeah, probably not happening. Of course this new company, born from the ashes of Sony’s PC unit, could still make a Windows Phone. It just wouldn’t be anything like their Xperia line.

Source: Sony

Thanks for the tip David!

Sam Sabri