Vaio is returning to the laptop market in India via a new licensing deal. The brand used to be the PC division of Sony and was once considered as the pioneer in the segment. However, with the decline in PC sales caused by the introduction of smartphones, Sony decided to limit its exposure and stopped focusing on the Vaio brand.
In 2014, Vaio got a fresh lease of life when the brand was split into an independent entity. This allowed the company to re-enter the personal computers market. It is majority owned by Japan Industrial Partners with Sony holding a minority stake. Now, the famed Japanese brand is trying to make a play for market share in India as well.
Vaio is making comeback in the Indian laptop market
Even when thin and lightweight laptops were not a common phenomenon, Vaio pioneered such designs in the laptop market. It was mostly known for its focus on design and excellent integration between form and function. It was sad for a lot of customers to see Vaio go away but the new model allows it to expand.
Like BlackBerry, Vaio works with regional partners and licenses its brand name to other companies. In order to return to the Indian market, it has stuck a similar licensing deal. Hong Kong-based Nexstgo has reportedly acquired the licensing right for the manufacturing, sales and marketing of Vaio laptops in India.
According to TechRadar, the Hong Kong firm has similar arrangements for Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and other Middle East markets. “We at Nexstgo are thrilled to reintroduce Vaio to Indian audiences, with a wide range of finest-quality laptops in the coming 3 months. The brand has previously witnessed unrivalled demand from the Indian market, and we believe that the country’s burgeoning tech-enthusiasts and young business professionals will be elated to experience Vaio’s premium solutions once again,” Alex Chung, CEO, Nexstgo Company Limited, said.
Nexstgo has a similar licensing agreement with Singapore-based laptop brand Avita in India. While Avita primarily caters to the budget and mid-range segment, Nexstgo will use Vaio to compete in the premium segment. The report notes that the first Vaio laptop will be a premium offering and launch in January.
Ahead of the launch, the return of Vaio is already being teased by Flipkart, which will be the online retail partner. Vaio will return with a laptop based on AMD’s Ryzen platform and will focus on those working from home. However, there is no further information on the laptop set to launch in the Indian market.
Before the pandemic, while the PC market was slowing down, India defied the trend. However, with the pandemic and work from home scenario, PC makers are seeing a growth in sales and renewed demand for their devices. This has allowed companies like Xiaomi and Honor to enter the market as well. IDC expects brands like Realme and Huawei to make a play for this market as well.
Vaio, with its brand recognition, could stake itself as a premium offering and target youth in the country. However, the success cannot be taken for granted and will depend on Nexstgo’s market pitch and pricing. The return of Vaio guarantees renewed interest in a segment that had taken a backseat due to the mobile first nature of the country.