Some months ago, Sony sold off its VAIO PC business to Japan Industrial Partners (JIP) in order to focus its attention on developing mobile products.
But the VAIO brand is long from becoming obsolete. VAIO is currently a standalone mini-PC company from Japan that’s trying to make it into the world without bringing the Sony name into the equation.
They already launched two laptop models, the VAIO Pro and VAIO Fit, but as you’d expect these models retain the characteristic Sony feel.
This autumn, VAIO was also showing a tablet PC prototype in Japan, that could have very well been mistaken for Microsoft’s Surface Pro 3 tablet/laptop hybrid.
Well now, according to a report coming from Nikkei, it looks like VAIO is planning to branch out even more into new product niches.
So come CES 2015 in Las Vegas, we should expect to see VAIO unveil its first Android smartphone, which will be launched in partnership with mobile virtual network operator Japan Communications.
We’re not given a whole lot of details about the new handset, except that the device runs Android (no clue whether it’s going to be Android 5.0 Lollipop or not) and will come equipped with an app capable of managing email, but also phone and video calls all-in-one.
The report also mentions this will be a full version of Android and luckily one that lacks basic features that make up the Android experience, like the presence of Google Play Services.
The source concludes by saying that the handset will arrive on the market with a moderate price tag, so we shouldn't be expecting to see VAIO unveil a flagship yet.
When the phone is going to go on sale in Japan, it will probably compete head-to-head with Sony’s mid-range products.
Keep an eye out for it at CES 2015 next week!