After several down years in its TV and PC divisions, Sony is trimming some fat and becoming more nimble. It’s game plan includes a dramatic strategy to sell off its Vaio computer division entirely, and a bold move to divert its TV division into a fully owned separate subsidiary.
The two moves amount to a massive restructuring for one of the world’s largest electronics titans, which has seen promising growth in its gaming, mobile, and imaging divisions, while TV and PC sales have dwindled. According to PC magazine, the restructure will result in 5,000 layoffs in 2014, including 1,500 in Japan, and 3,500 overseas.
While Sony is content to wash its hands of the PC industry entirely, selling Vaio to Japan Industrial Partners Inc., the company still sees promise in its TV brand, with a laser sharp focus on 4K for the near future.
Just as we saw in 2013, this year’s Sony CES showcase was unflinchingly centered around 4K, which is, in a roundabout way, named for the technology’s screen resolution at four times that of 1080p HD. The company seems to have no hesitation doubling down on the growing technology, proceeding full speed ahead with near tunnel vision. Sony leads the industry in several segments, including content creation technologies with its 4K cameras and production equipment, content curation through its online 4K Unlimited Download Service, and hardware with its expanding lineup of upper and mid-tier 4K TVs.
While it remains to be seen whether or not 4K will be adopted en masse on the short term at the scale Sony, and other competitors like Samsung and LG hope it will, there seems to be little doubt where the leaders of the industry are taking us. The big question for Sony in the next couple of years may just be: How fast will consumers follow?
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