Sony says new "division two" VAIO laptops will be built by other manufacturers

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During an interview with PC Pro, Sony’s deputy president of the VAIO Business Group, Ryosuke Akahane, announced that the Japanese company is planning to split its VAIO notebook line-up in two. The first, “division one” would consist of notebooks designed and manufactured by Sony itself, whilst “division two” will have both the design and manufacturing process outsourced to various companies. The reason for the move is that Sony wants to rapidly accelerate the visibility of and interest in the VAIO brand. Akahane noted that it would be expensive and very inefficient for Sony to create a separate brand — such as Dell has done with its Studio and Inspiron lines — so what will ultimately happen is the division one series devices will feature cutting-edge technologies which will eventually find their way into the division two line-up. Quick to calm concerns that latter notebooks will be of inferior quality, Akahane said that “the quality criteria itself is no different between division number one and division number two” and added that they will retain the “taste of VAIO, the style of VAIO.” Akahane is predicting Sony will sell 10 million VAIO notebooks in 2010, a 47% increase over its 2009 sales.

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