PC manufacturers seem to be dropping like flies at present. Shortly after Sony confirmed it was selling its PC business and Vaio brand, LG is rumored to be planning its own exit from traditional PCs, to focus on smartphones, tablets and ‘convertible’ PCs (touchscreen Windows tablets that flip round into a laptop).
Other manufacturers are witnessing falling sales, prices and profits – with The Guardian calculating that the average profit per PC in the third quarter of 2013 fell to just £14.87 ($24.09). One manufacturer of conventional-format PCs, however, has remained almost immune to the trend: Apple …
Sony has confirmed earlier rumors that it is exiting the PC business, selling both its computer division and the VAIO brand to a Japanese investment fund which plans to use the brand only within Japan, at least initially.
Once the coolest laptop brand around, VAIO notebooks were admired even by Steve Jobs for their slim form factors and sleek designs, and it was to Sony that Apple turned for help in designing its early PowerBook models. Sony, however, failed to maintain its design momentum, and found itself increasingly overtaken by smaller companies.
We described yesterday how Sony in 2001 turned down an offer from Steve Jobs to run Mac OS on Vaio laptops.
Sony is also restructuring its TV business, announcing that it will be focusing much more on high-end models. Sony is the current market leader in 4K TVs, a market Apple is expected to enter.
The news coincides with a report by Canalys that if you measure PC and tablet sales as a single category, considering both to amount to personal computers, then Apple is the leading computer manufacturer, with a 19.5 percent market share – more than HP and Dell combined.
Combining Macs and iPads, Apple sold just over 87 million personal computing devices last year (excluding iPhones).
Update: the rumor was true, Sony confirmed that it is selling its PC business and the VAIO brand to Japan Industrial Partners, with the deal set to complete by the end of March.
Former Sony President Kunitake Ando says that Sony turned down an offer from Steve Jobs back in 2001 to allow it to run Mac OS on Vaio laptops, several years after the original Mac clone program ended in 1998.
Speaking to freelance writer Nobuyuki Hayashi, Ando described the moment Steve Jobs met senior Sony execs to make the offer.
Most of Sony’s executives spent their winter vacation in Hawaii and play golf after celebrating the new year. In one of those new year golf competitions back in 2001, ” Steve Jobs and another Apple executive were waiting for us at the end of golf course holding VAIO running Mac OS”
But there is an interesting Backstory told through Quora by the wife of an ex-Apple Engineer working on the Marklar project…