Sony making computer comeback

Corp.'s numbers rival IBM, Apple in Japan

TOKYO — Sony Corp., which returned to the personal computer market a year ago, posted marketshare figures in Japan that rival the shares held by IBM Japan and Apple Computer, according to an industry survey released on Tuesday.

Sony returned to the PC market last summer with its Vaio series of notebook and desktop computers, and it had a 10% market share of the Japanese PC market in the April-June quarter of this year, according to Multimedia Research Institute.

NEC Corp. had the largest share at 31%, up 0.3% from the same time last year. Fujitsu was second at 13.7%, a drop of 5.4%.

IBM was in third at 10.8%, marking a 2.5% drop from the same quarter in 1997, while Apple was at 10.5%, down 2.2%. In the future, Sony plans to increase the ability of its desktop computers to interact with home audiovisual equipment.

Sony stopped making computers in the late 1980s because of poor sales. The Vaio series was the first new PC line from the company in a decade.

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