As the PC decline continues, we’re seeing more traditional PC manufacturers expand into tablets, and even smartphones, in order to offset declining revenue. Meanwhile, companies that were never strictly PC makers have more options, one of which being dropping PCs altogether. According to reports coming out of Japan, that’s exactly what Sony plans to do.
More specifically, it’s rumored that the company is looking to sell its PC division to an investment fund, Japan Industrial Partners (JIP). The sale price floating around right now is between 40 billion and 50 billion yen, about $391 million to $489 million.
Interestingly, JIP doesn’t plan to strip the struggling division for parts. Instead, the PC business will continue to sell computers under the Vaio brand, also handling after-sale service. In order for this to happen, Sony will take a small stake in the firm. That said, the newly split company will likely withdraw from a number of countries and regions.
Sony’s PC business employs roughly 1,000 people, most of which will be taken on by the new firm, while others will be transferred to other areas of Sony.
This decision has been a long time coming for Sony, going back to 2012, when the company posted a record loss for the 2011 fiscal year. This prompted Sony to refocus primarily on its smartphone and gaming businesses.
While it hasn’t reached the level of success that Samsung (News - Alert) or Apple boast in the former space, Sony’s Xperia smartphones have received consistently positive reviews over the last couple of years, thanks to their eye-catching, and often waterproof, designs. As for its gaming business, Sony seems to be holding a comfortable lead over rival Microsoft (News - Alert) in terms of next-gen console sales.
While the sale of its PC division seems like a clear choice, Sony will take on disposal losses as a result, which should cause it to post a net loss for its fiscal year ending March 31. Still, it will likely be worth it for the company in the long run.