Well, here's a bit of a surprise. In an interview with PC Pro, the deputy president of Sony's VAIO Business Group, Ryosuke Akahane, has revealed that the company will soon be effectively splitting its laptop business into two distinct groups. The first, called "division one," will continue with laptops designed and built by Sony as before, but the second, or "division two," will rely on laptops built by other manufacturers. Those behind-the-scenes changes may not be readily apparent to consumers, however, as the so-called division two laptops will still carry the VAIO name, and will apparently have the same "taste of VAIO" and "style of VAIO," with Sony naturally first approving all third-party designs. Presumably, this will also lead to some less expensive VAIO laptops, although Akahane was quick to point out that it's not following the Dell model with different brands at different price points, saying instead that a new brand is "not efficient," and that it wants to "enhance the identity of VAIO more and more."

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Sony announces 'division two' series of VAIO laptops built by other manufacturers