Japanese Industrial Partners (JIP) are looking to make the VAIO brand viable for more than just laptops, following the acquisition of the brand and technology from Sony. VAIO will start in the smartphone market this year, with JIP preparing to launch an Android smartphone at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on Jan. 6 to Jan. 9.


The report lacks reputable sources, but JIP has said in investor statements that it will look to diversify the product range of VAIO, moving away from Windows laptops. The VAIO smartphone will reportedly feature a 5-inch full HD display, and typical high-end specs. Considering the same design team from previous VAIO laptops will be working on the Android smartphone, we should expect something special.

It is questionable how much volume JIP will be able to ship, and whether it will come to foreign markets. A CES launch points towards at least U.S. availability, perhaps extending into Europe.

Android Lollipop should be running on the VAIO smartphone, unless JIP is a bit behind on the releases, in which case KitKat looks like the optimal release.

Considering the past failures of brands trying to enter the smartphone market, it is questionable whether VAIO will make any headway in the smartphone market in 2015. Polaroid, Facebook and more recently Amazon all tried stabs at the smartphone market, and failed because the brand identity did not draw customers to the smartphone.

Kodak and VAIO are now coming to CES 2015 with the first smartphone, but neither should hope it is a revival, since the smartphone market can be brutal at best for companies.