Struggling Japanese electronics Company Sony who is set to quite the PC market in Australia could open the door for Lenovo to launch a full range of tablets, Motorola smartphones and several slick looking PC products according to retailers that ChannelNews has spoken to.
According to sources in Japan Sony is reportedly in talks with investment fund Japan Industrial Partners to sell off its Vaio personal computer division with the investment Company keen to keep intact Sony’s Japanese PC business while jettisoning their loss making International business.
It is not known whether Sony’s Vaio business is profitable in Australia however one source at Sony Australia did say that their Vaio PC business had declined during the past 12 months.
A Harvey Norman franchisee said “The exit of Sony from the PC market is not necessarily a big loss as they were not a volume PC brand however it could open the way up for retailers to range Lenovo products if Lenovo decide to invest in the Australian consumer market”
They have not been invested in the Australian consumer market in the past however with the Motorola brand and the opportunity to sell Motorola smartphones and tablets as well as Lenovo branded notebooks they may consider it a worthwhile risk” the franchisee said.
The reports out of Japan, which cited an anonymous source familiar with the matter, said proposals call for a new company to be set up by Japan Industrial Partners to take over the Vaio brand’s operations in Japan only.
Sony is also considering a withdrawal from all overseas PC markets, Reuters reported.
Nikkei Business Daily said the Vaio PC unit would be sold for up to 50 billion yen ($493 million) and that Sony would retain only a small stake in the new company.
Nikkei added that disposal losses from the sale would cause Sony to show a net loss for the first time in two years for the year ending March 31. Sony is scheduled to issue quarterly results on Thursday.
Japanese broadcaster NHK reported on Saturday that Chinese technology company Lenovo Group was in talks over a possible joint venture to take over Sony’s overseas PC operations.
But Reuters, citing a source familiar with the matter, said exact terms and financial details were still in the discussion stages.
The move comes as the market for traditional PCs continues to contract as smartphones and tablets grow.
Gartner Research has forecast worldwide PC shipments ship a total 278 million units in 2014, down 7 percent from 2013, as mobile phones move 1.9 billion units, up 5 percent.