After splitting from Sony, Vaio has launched its first smartphone

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Meet the world’s first Vaio smartphone.

Vaio Corp., which was sold by Sony Corp. last year, will begin offering its new Android-based smartphones in Japan Friday as it seeks a slice of the growing mid-range market.Many of you will have heard of Sony VAIO laptops and computers, and over the last few months there have been rumors about a VAIO smartphone on the way.The Vaio Corporation, the company born out of Sony’s laptop business back in February 2014, today announced the world’s first Vaio-branded smartphone.

The new phones, developed in partnership with telecom services provider Japan Communications Inc., come with a 5-inch display and a 13-megapixel camera, and of course the famous Vaio logo on both sides. VAIO Corporation is largely owned by Japan Industrial Partners, and back in December we first heard that VAIO-branded smartphones would be coming in 2015. Vaio is seeking to tap into expected growth in users at Japan Communications, a so-called mobile virtual network operator, as the Japanese government moves to make it easier for consumers to switch from standard wireless carriers, which generally charge higher rates while giving away costly flagship phones, such as Apple’s iPhone and Sony’s Xperia Z, in exchange for two-year contracts.

As Blog of Mobile points out, the Vaio phone is actually identical to Panasonic ELUGA U2, another midrange smartphone produced by Quanta Computer that is sold in Taiwan. With its new offering, Vaio will be competing at least indirectly with Sony, which decided to part ways with its former PC maker as part of a broader restructuring. Vaio phone will be available through Japanese MVNO B-mobile, and it’ll cost ¥3,980 (approx. $33) a month for both the hardware and the service plan. With Sony struggling to keep its own smartphone business alive, it will be interesting to see whether one of its former businesses can be more successful with its focus on affordability.

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