JAPANESE ELECTRONICS GIANT Sony will sell off its Vaio computer brand in reaction to the flagging PC market, sources close to the matter have said, and is considering withdrawal from overseas markets.
According to Reuters Sony is in talks with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners to spin off its PC division, which is making a loss for the Japanese company.
Sources claimed that a plan is under consideration that involves Japan Industrial Partners setting up a new company to take possession of the Vaio brand operations. Financial details and stakeholdings in the new entity were still being discussed.
If true, the news doesn't come as much of a surprise. On Tuesday, analyst outfit Canalys reported a seven percent decline in the global PC market over the last year, backing similar reports by fellow market watchers IDC and Gartner.
Unlike other analyst firms Canalys counted tablet shipments in its PC sales figures, which it said showed a global rise of 18 percent over the last year. However, because tablets accounted for 48 percent, almost half of the total PC market, the firm said that the rest - PCs, laptops and notebooks - saw a worldwide decline of 6.9 percent year on year, with shipments falling in all regions.
The growth sector of the industry is in tablets and smartphones, which Sony addresses with its Android-powered Xperia arm.
While Canalys said that tablet shipments alone grew 65 percent year on year to reach 76.3 million units, research firm Strategy Analytics reported that Google's growing Android mobile operating system had 80 percent market share in 2013.
According to the analyst firm's statistics there were a total of 781.2 million Android devices shipped last year, giving the open source mobile operating system a record 79 percent share of the global mobile devices market.
Sony likely will sell its PC segment to concentrate on a division that is still showing good growth in the industry. µ