ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronCrossEye IconIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailMenu BurgerPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon SearchSite TitleTitle ChevronIcon Twitter
Business

Vaio to compete against former parent Sony in smartphones

 TOKYO -- Vaio, a laptop unit that Sony spun off earlier this year, will enter the smartphone business as early as January, effectively taking on its former parent.

     Vaio is collaborating with cellphone carrier Japan Communications, which as a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) uses other carriers' networks to offer its services.

     Sony sold a majority of the shares in Vaio in July to an investment fund, part of restructuring efforts to rebuild its struggling electronics business. It now has a stake of just 5%.

     Vaio developed an Android-operated smartphone with a 5-inch display in cooperation with Japan Communications and plans to feature an app that can manage email as well as phone and video calls all together. Production will be outsourced to electronic manufacturing service companies.

     The price including service charges has yet to be set but will likely fall between that of major brands and the low-priced handsets already in the market.

     The handset will be marketed through Japan Communications sales channels -- including electronics retailers, information system developers and e-commerce websites -- targeting individuals as well as business users.

     Starting in May, Japan's communications ministry will require that handsets be sold unlocked so they can work with the SIM cards of any carriers. The move is expected to prompt many users to switch from major carriers to MVNOs, which the ministry expects will double their service contracts to 15 million in 2016.

     Vaio is rather late to enter the market for cheaper smartphones, products that many Chinese, South Korea companies and startups are already offering. But it contends that it can still capture demand by offering a handset with superior design for a reasonable price.

(Nikkei)

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Get Unlimited access

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends January 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to the Nikkei Asian Review has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media