Japan's Sony says it's leaving the PC market, will sell Vaio

Feb. 6, 2014 at 7:25 PM
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TOKYO, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Japan's Sony Corp. announced it is leaving the shrinking PC market and is selling its Vaio personal computer division to a Japanese investment fund.

Sony said it had entered into an agreement to sell Vaio to Japan Industrial Partners Inc., the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

The decision followed a "comprehensive analysis of factors, including the drastic changes in the global PC industry," Sony said in a statement.

The decline of the PC market has been ongoing with the seventh consecutive quarter of slumping sales, figures released by technology research company Gartner have shown.

Sales were down 10 percent in 2013 compared with 2012, the largest drop it has ever recorded, Gartner said.

The sale of its PC division will allow it to concentrate on its mobile electronics business with a focus on smartphones and tablets, the company said.

Some analysts expressed surprise at the announcement, noting Sony had been doing well in the PC business, especially recently.

That success "makes this more puzzling," Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD Group, wrote in a blog post.

"We find this decision to be particularly troubling, and one that is likely, ultimately, at least in the United States to be decidedly unsuccessful," he wrote.

Sony also announced it would spin off its TV business, saying it did not expect to reach its goal of returning the TV business to profitability, the Times reported.

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