In a move that’s either crazy smart or just plain crazy Sony has announced that it will soon begin branding notebooks made by other manufacturers with the Sony VAIO name. These new Sony branded notebooks, called VAIO Division 2, are said to have the same, “taste of VAIO, the style of VAIO”, by Ryosuke Akahane the deputy president of Sony VAIO’s Business Group.
Sony explains the decision as a necessary step to increase Sony’s marketshare and an integral part of meeting future sales goals which the company set at 10 million units in 2010, an increase of 4 million from 2009.
Sony claims that these new VAIO Division 2 notebooks would be of the same quality as the Division 1 notebooks that would be designed and manufactured directly by Sony, but goes on to clarify where the real difference will be. VAIO Division 2 notebooks will be Sony’s budget brand of notebooks; receiving new technology only after it has been introduced in the division one line. PC Pro UK reports that Sony dismissed the idea of creating a separate brand because it is, “not efficient”.
If Sony can live up to its promise of providing the same quality in the Division 2 line of notebooks as the primary, Sony manufactured, notebooks then this could be beneficial to new notebook shoppers; but they have several hurdles to overcome.
Assuming Sony nails the quality, these new notebooks will likely create confusion on the marketplace. Shoppers who know Sony VAIO notebooks for their high quality and Apple-like pricing will be confused by the low priced VAIOs sitting nearby and shoppers who think Sony VAIO notebooks are too pricey may not even bother to look at the pricetag of the division 2 notebooks. We’ll keep our eyes open for news on this new line and let you know when the first VAIO Division 2 notebook arrives.