Further consolidation may be afoot in the PC industry.
A Nikkei report quoted by Reuters claims that Sony is currently in talks to sell its PC business. The Nikkei report names an investment fund, Japan Industrial Partners, as the potential buyer. Japan Industrial Partners would reportedly pay up to $490 million for Sony's PC division, spin it into a new company, and leave Sony with a "small stake in the new firm."
Where's the consolidation, you ask? Well, not in that story—but Reuters references another report, this time by Japan's NHK, that says Lenovo "was in talks about a possible joint venture to take over Sony's loss-making Vaio PC business overseas." Sony has called that report "inaccurate" in a statement, though it did confirm that it's "looking at various possibilities for Vaio."
If the NHK story is true after all, it wouldn't be the first time Lenovo eats up a competitor. IBM sold its PC division to the company back in 2004. Also, under the terms of a newly announced deal, Lenovo is set to purchase Motorola Mobility from Google. (Most of Motorola's patent portfolio will remain under Google's ownership, however.)
According to Gartner, worldwide PC shipments declined by 6.9% overall last quarter, with only Lenovo and Dell out of the top five PC makers seeing any shipment growth globally. Gartner's market share numbers also put Lenovo in the number-one spot globally, ahead of HP by 1.7 percentage points and 1.34 million units.
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