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Sony has confirmed earlier rumors that it is exiting the PC business, selling both its computer division and the VAIO brand to a Japanese investment fund which plans to use the brand only within Japan, at least initially.

Once the coolest laptop brand around, VAIO notebooks were admired even by Steve Jobs for their slim form factors and sleek designs, and it was to Sony that Apple turned for help in designing its early PowerBook models. Sony, however, failed to maintain its design momentum, and found itself increasingly overtaken by smaller companies.

We described yesterday how Sony in 2001 turned down an offer from Steve Jobs to run Mac OS on Vaio laptops.

Sony is also restructuring its TV business, announcing that it will be focusing much more on high-end models. Sony is the current market leader in 4K TVs, a market Apple is expected to enter.

The news coincides with a report by Canalys that if you measure PC and tablet sales as a single category, considering both to amount to personal computers, then Apple is the leading computer manufacturer, with a 19.5 percent market share – more than HP and Dell combined.

combined

Combining Macs and iPads, Apple sold just over 87 million personal computing devices last year (excluding iPhones).

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