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PC division to be sold to investment fund, mobile business to concentrate on tablets and smartphones

There has been much rumor and speculation surrounding Sony in the past few days, but with the release of its Fiscal Q3 2013 results we've learned some what lies ahead for the Japanese manufacturer. Talking about the good points first; the Mobile Products & Communications division saw a 44.8% increase in sales year-on-year to $4.396 billion, with its operating loss reducing by $120 million. 

The relative success in mobile comes despite being lumped together with the personal PC business, and is in part due to a "significant increase" in the sales of smartphones and the average smartphone selling price. 

Perhaps the bigger news from Sony however is that the VAIO PC business will in fact be sold on, and the TV part of the company will be retained but spun off into a separate unit. The massive restructure will cut 5,000 jobs and take $988 million from its fixed costs over the long term. It's expected to be in place by March 2015, with the changes to the TV division taking place by July of this year. 

All this means that Sony's mobile business will now re-focus on smartphones and tablets going forward. The three core businesses will become mobile, gaming and imaging, within which Sony makes some pretty fantastic products. It'll take a little while for it all to unfold properly, but a renewed focus on phones and tablets has us interested. 

Source: Sony (1),(2)


Reader comments

Sony smartphone sales on the rise as company sells off VAIO PC business


I just can't get myself to like Sony smartphones and tablets... I don't even really know what it is; I guess it's the interface (android skin) and the form factor that don't appeal to me... and I really know no one that owns a recent Sony device.

i have the sony xperia z phone and the xperia tablet z.

i absolutely love their devices. their android skin is great. Its almost stock android, but the tweaks and additions they've made, i actually find very useful.
Pre Xperia Z, i agree, sony were mid range at best.
They seemed to have knocked it out of the park since the xperia z imho.

i'm pretty much sold that my next phone will be a sony when my 2 year contract expires in 15 months.

I find it odd they don't have a greater presence, but i guess their marketing budget pales in comparison to say Samsung. plus it means i don't look like an iSheep (sony version), when we all pull out our phones, i'm glad i have something different to virtually everyone else.

oh, and the poor screen/viewing angles is the most over exaggerated overblown nonsense. The screens are fine. I've compared it to the HTC One, and the differences are really minimal, and you wouldn't really even notice if you weren't directly comparing it to another phone at the same time.

Agree with you 100%. I still don't know what people are talking about when they say bad angles. Who looks at their phone from the side anyway. Last time I checked most people look at their phone head on. But hey, that's just me.

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I have little experience with Sony (that says a lot) and the biggest reason is because they limit themselves.

They need a "flagship" across all carriers. When they put themselves out to the US as a whole they will gain greater acceptance.

They have a decent product at first and limited glance, just no one knows. It isnt like Sony is not a household/trusted name.

Isn't the Xperia Z the one with a screen worse than those from 2010 flagships? Not the z1.

Never mind, I saw you mentioned it.

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Unless you actually try one you can't really speak on how they actually are. I've owned the Xperia z from tmobile and Sony's ui is one if the closest at resembling stock android. My wife still has her Xperia and im about to buy her the z1s.

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Don't buy it. I'm using that phone right now and though it's a nice phone, it has some touch screen issues. If you drag your finger across the screen it sometimes doesn't register and this can cause problems in some games and when browsing where I'd you try to scroll it will instead register as a click.

Peel off the factory installed screen protector to get rid of touch sensitivity.

Posted from my "KNOX-FREE" 4.3 Sprint GS3 Maxx...!!!
(ZeroLemon 7000mAh battery)

3165dwayne got an issue with his phone so now everybody do not buy this model.
I own Z1 for about 6 months now and never had any problem with it.

Lucky you!!!
3 months ago I bought my Xperia Z1, sent it 3 times to the service and they can´t fix it...
This week I´ve got a new one from SONY and BANG!!! Same problem!!!!
We are lots of owners with the same problem, just check SONYMOBILE FORUM. sometimes is there sometimes not but when is failing is really annoying, I will like to smash it against the wall ... but this is a hardware problem that SONY doesn´t want to recognize otherwise is the end for the brand.

That´s what I said... Lucky you!!!

Defective phone? I have a Z1 and it's the same screen and no touch issues at all. Run a diagnostic that's what it's there for or utilize the 1 year warrantee.

Not everyone is having issues with the screen on the Z1s. Mine works perfectly fine here.

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My problem is definitely based on their older products. They just didn't make quality. I hope they continue to use better quality and innovation going forward.

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'..."significant increase" in the sales of smartphones...' means 10.7 millions smartphones compare to 10 millions in previous Q.

I still remember my Sony Clie and how much better it was than Palm Pilot. If they can somehow replicate that quality then I think Samsung needs to watch its back (and I'm using a Galaxy S3).

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I never liked the candy look and bigness of the VIAO laptops. I guess others agree and it was a good decision for them.

I did love, however, my Sony Xperia Mini Pro. Loved the interface for Gingerbread on it, was close to stock with a few added conveniences, and mid range specs for its time. I love that Sony is still making mini phones. Wish the Z1 compact would come to Canada. Xperia M is a great low end, smaller phone too.

I don't agree. I've been using different Vaio's for years and I would never buy any other brand. So this Sony's decision does not make me happy at all.

This makes me a little sad. I've been using a VAIO laptop for several years now and absolutely love it and I literally just ordered my wife one yesterday. There are so few laptop brands that I trust now. Guess I may have to start looking at Asus in the future.

I'm in the same situation. Instead of Asus I would suggest Dell. Their philosophy seems closer to Vaio to me.

Agreed. Dell was actually my second choice but I couldn't customize it quite as much as I wanted. It's a shame that the high-end consumer laptop market is dying. I don't necessarily need one (though I am a geek that likes them) but my wife does a lot of work with CAD and 3D rendering and I didn't want to pay upwards of $2500 for a "business" laptop.

Yeah I ended up getting a Vizio. Bang for buck is huge and performance is great. I just don't know how it'd hold up if I traveled a lot. I feel it's too fragile. I don't even take it on local photoshoots.

I usually take my super cheap Acer and deal with the garbage screen instead. It has a plastic body and takes bumps pretty well. Problem there is the keyboard is awful as is the battery life. I have to carry three.

Yup I am in the same boat. First moto is sold off and now my sony laptop is sold off. Not a good few weeks for the tech industry news.

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I do not own a Sony smartphone, but I recently picked up the VAIO Tap 21. I love having a portable desktop and Sony did a great job on the design. Just my 2 cents.

My wife just got a Tap 21 yesterday after trying a similar Lenovo model. She loves it so far, especially compared to the Lenovo. It's odd timing that the day after we get our first Vaio product they get sold off. I wonder how that will effect future support?

My Xperia Z1s is the best phone I've owned yet, loving every aspect of it. I really hope Sony becomes a contender. Their build quality and UI enhancements are so refreshingly different from everything else on the market.

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So Sony loses money on mobile and it is a success because they sell more? How?

If they focused on great products with better margins... They would have better products, better margins, profit. Who cares how many Xperia J are in the wild?

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Ultimately this is for the best. I'm glad Sony is going to invest more on mobile solutions. To me this couldn't come at a better time as I watch Nokia leaving the mobile business I'm glad to see that the only company that can match it - Sony - is going to reinforce their commitment and investment on mobile solutions.

Some may say it's not wise because Sony doesn't have that much market share of the Android market and that Samsung smashes everything. That is true but it someone can make a stand against Samsung's reign, that someone isn't HTC or LG. It's Sony. Because Sony HAS the upper hand on gaming and has an entire music and film industry at their command.
By betting more on mobile they can not only keep improving their already great Xperia phones, they can also start directing efforts into bringing things like the Walkman music services, Movies and PlayStation mobile closer together.
And because Sony is already on Android, they have the unique chance to bring more of their PlayStation games into mobile thus making Sony phones more appealing to people who buy the PlayStation.

I'm very excited to see what will come of this and I seriously hope Sony doesn't screw anything up. They have a golden opportunity here.

Just got email from Sony stating that they are moving their e-reader store to Kobo in March so if you use that service you will need to move over to Kobo. More information will be released soon.

Their phones have always been great, but their notebooks and monitors have always been overpriced. Boggles my mind that they think they can sell electronics marked up 50%+ over the competition. This isn't 1990 any longer. They got left behind by the competition a long time ago.

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For what? They don't even sell the Xperia Line to all Carriers so that people could buy them! They just need availability and good Marketing to surpass Samsung right now!