As much as PC manufacturers would like to believe their once super-steady cash cow will start yielding easy profits again down the line, the bitter reality is traditional computers don’t seem to be making a comeback.
Tablets are also on a decidedly downward trajectory, leaving most OEMs faced with a tough call. Should they continue to bet big on a losing horse, focus on niches like convertibles, ruggedized laptops or business-centric machines, or throw in the towel and cut their losses?
Well, what if there was a fourth option, at least for smaller PC makers that can’t compete against Lenovo, HP or Dell anyway? VAIO, Toshiba and Fujitsu reportedly explored such a backup plan, eyeing an alliance for relevance-boosting purposes, but ultimately, the three-way merger discussions fell through.
The reason is unknown, but it was apparently JIP (Japan Industrial Partners) that exited negotiations. The investment firm owns 95 percent of the VAIO business following a 2014 deal with Sony, and you could suspect the benefits of absorbing two floundering brands were deemed insufficient to warrant the union.
After all, VAIO’s been showing promising signs of recovery, at least in its domestic tech landscape, recently branching out from notebooks and tablets to Windows 10 smartphones, thus proving it’s willing to adapt to new trends.
Meanwhile, Toshiba made headlines by nipping the Wearvue smart glasses in the bud, as well as selling its still semi-successful imaging unit to Sony, and Fujitsu… is really not up to much. No wonder the two aren’t interested in joining forces if VAIO’s out, looking doomed for consumer market irrelevance and perhaps even corporate death.