updated 03:15 pm EDT, Tue April 8, 2008
Philips Outsources HDTVs
Philips today revealed that it will stop its direct development HDTVs for North America. The Dutch firm now says it will outsource all of the work for both these sets and Magnavox models to Japan-based Funai. The company will handle both manufacturing sets as well as marketing them in the two western countries. The move is cited as necessary to turn around Philips' loss-taking HDTV business, which is successful in Asia and Europe but has struggled in the more competitive North American space through tight profit margins.
Philips is best-known for its comparatively upscale Ambilight HDTVs, which create background lighting that can change with certain movies. However, the TV maker has encountered stiff opposition from economy brands that thrive on selling low-cost sets in North America, particularly firms that sell primarily or exclusively to large retailers, including Best Buy's Insignia brand and Vizio.
Philips doesn't say whether the shift in production will delay or otherwise affect the launch of its LED Ambilight sets, which have begun to ship but won't finish their full introduction until May.