Sony's VAIO laptops have long been some of the most stylish and well-built computers running Windows, but they could soon become a thing of the past if a new report is to believed.
According to Nikkei , Sony is looking to sell its entire VAIO PC and laptop division to investment fund Japan Industrial Partners for an estimated 40 billion to 50 billion yen (roughly $391 million to $489 million).
The report suggests Sony would hold a small stake in this new company, which would focus on business machines in its home territory and continue to sell VAIO models in countries where the brand is popular, but otherwise exit all other markets.
The deal would result in Sony's 1,000 staff working on the VAIO business either transferred to other teams within Sony, or absorbed by the new company rather than being left out of a job. Sony is apparently looking to focus more on smartphones, so it is possible many employees would find a new home in the Xperia division.
There were very few new VAIO models announced at this year's CES show, with the 11in VAIO Fit Multi-Flip being a smaller version of an existing design. It was almost buried underneath new products from Sony's other, more profitable divisions, including 4K TVs and playStation Now game streaming. Meanwhile, the Xperia Z1 Compact smartphone was one of the company's biggest announcements of the show, headlining the company's press conference..
The deal is far from official yet, but pen could be put to paper as early as the end of March. Sony issued a statement regarding the claims, saying the company "continues to address various options for the PC business, but [Sony] has no further comments."