TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s Sony Corp. said on Wednesday it plans to start selling the world’s lightest notebook computer in December in Japan, in a bid to boost its presence among business users.
Weighing 898 grams, Sony’s “type G” Vaio computer will be the lightest laptop PC, and comes with a 12.1-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) screen, the electronics and entertainment conglomerate said.
On the sidelines of a news conference on the new Vaio models, Sony Senior Vice President Yoshihisa Ishida said that recent recalls of Sony-made batteries are expected to have little impact on its personal computer operations.
Top PC makers including Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. are recalling up to 9.6 million Sony batteries, which on rare occasions could overheat and catch fire, raising concern that production of replacement-use batteries may reduce Sony’s supply capability for batteries that go into new PCs.
Sony said it expects a basic model of its new “type G” computer, which runs for about 12.5 hours on a battery and is not equipped with an optical drive, to sell for about 220,000 yen ($1,881).
It has no plan at the moment to offer the “type G” models overseas.
The company did not disclose its sales target for the new models, but said it aims to raise the ratio of its personal computer revenue from corporate clients to 30 percent of its PC revenue in Japan by the business year ending March 2010, from the current level of less than 10 percent.
Sony does not give revenue or profit figures for its personal computer business, but it aims to sell 4.2 million units of Vaio PCs in the year to March 2007, up 14 percent on the year.
Shares in Sony were down 1.44 percent at 4,780 yen in afternoon trade, underperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index IELEC, which gained 0.36 percent.