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New Vaio smartphones on the way to compete with Sony?

The investment firm which bought the Vaio brand from Sony earlier in 2014 is reportedly planning to launch a new range of smartphones under the name.

Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via 9to5Google) claims the first handsets could be unveiled at the CES 2015 tech show, which begins in Las Vegas next week.

According to the report, the Japanese Industrial Partners group plans to launch the devices in partnership with a Japanese mobile network.

The phones, running on the Android OS, would likely compete with Sony in its own backyard. It seems unlikely they would emerge beyond Japan at this stage.

Sony itself is seemingly planning a host of mobile launches for CES with new flagship smartphones and tablets running the Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system out of the box.

A Sony Xperia Z4 is likely, while a new Xperia Tablet Ultra is also expected to make an experience on the Sony stand.

Read more: Sony Xperia Z4 rumours

Since Sony sold off the Vaio computing brand in February, the new owner has focused on computing, rather than competing, products.

The most noteworthy releases were the Vaio Fit and Vaio Pro laptops in June. They arrived without Sony branding but were otherwise identical to those previously on sale.

Since leaving the computing business, Sony has increasingly focused on mobile and gaming and is heavily relying on the PS4 to spearhead a return to form in 2015.

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