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Apple partner Philips exits consumer electronics business

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Philips Electronics, which has been in the consumer market for more than 80 years, announced Tuesday that it has sold off the remnants of its consumer-oriented business.

In addition to being a key component supplier and partner for Apple, the company has also sold its own electronics over the years in an attempt to compete with Apple, Samsung, Sony and others. But that business has been a money loser for Philips, prompting the company to sell its audio, video, multimedia and accessories businesses to Japanese company Funai Electric, according to The Wall Street Journal.

hue


Philips is believed to have supplied LED flash modules for Apple's iPhone over the years. In addition to offering lighting products, Philips is also primarily a medical equipment manufacturer.

Last year, Philips and Apple also partnered exclusively to offer app-controlled "hue" lightbulbs at Apple's retail stores. Dubbed "the world's smartest LED bulb," the product allows users to control their lights, including what color they display, through an iOS application. The hue is made by Philips' lighting division, and will not be affected by the restructuring.

Last year, Philips was also one of the first companies to announce a series of speaker docks and clock radios compatible with Apple's new Lightning connector. Such consumer-oriented devices will now be handled by Funai.
post #2 of 31
Quite sad to read really. I had a Philips kettle and toaster and they were both extremely well made and beautifully designed. The kettle was award-winning for its energy efficiency and design.
post #3 of 31
I'm surprised more hardware companies haven't declared defeat to software-based devices
post #4 of 31
It is sad as it looks like Philips does not make TVs anymore also?

I hope my two 6 year old philips TVs survive until the Apple TV comes out?
Edited by curveddesign.com - 1/29/13 at 6:07am
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kfury77 View Post

Quite sad to read really. I had a Philips kettle and toaster and they were both extremely well made and beautifully designed. The kettle was award-winning for its energy efficiency and design.

 

Household appliances are manufactured by a different Philips group. That group isn't affected by this announcement.

post #6 of 31

I hope they don't close their Research lab in Briarcliff Manor NY.

 

That place has come up with all sorts of inventions over the years.

 

(For example, they have several 2003-4 patent applications in that are related to inertial touch scrolling.   One was referenced in an Apple patent for disappearing scrollbars.   Imagine if Philips got their patents and everyone else had to pay them... or give up some forms of flick scrolling.)

post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by ifij775 View Post

I'm surprised more hardware companies haven't declared defeat to software-based devices

WHAT? And you think software companies know anything about designing hardware? Trust me, I speak from experience here, most software engineers don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold onto.
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post


WHAT? And you think software companies know anything about designing hardware? Trust me, I speak from experience here, most software engineers don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold onto.

 

Apple is a software company...at least they say they are. As Steve Jobs always said, people who are really serious about software also want to do their own hardware. 

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post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by curveddesign.com View Post

It is sad as it looks like Philips does not make TVs anymore also?

I hope my two 6 year old philips TVs survive until the Apple TV comes out?
They sold off their TV business about a year ago.
post #10 of 31
Anyone know if this includes Norelco as well?
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Apple is a software company...at least they say they are. As Steve Jobs always said, people who are really serious about software also want to do their own hardware. 
Again, no, Apple is both, and started out as a hardware company. It's in their DNA.
post #12 of 31

So what exactly will be axed in terms of products?  Does this mean no more Hue?  I was about to get a starter kit.

post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

Apple is a software company...at least they say they are. As Steve Jobs always said, people who are really serious about software also want to do their own hardware. 

I have limited experience with Phillips, but a few years ago, I bought my dad a DVD recorder made by Phillips. It had the WORST user interface imaginable. It looked like a DOS and Linux engineer decided to make a UI and spruce it up with crude cartoony icons to hide the DOS-like nature. And it was slow and cumbersome. Apple appreciated great user interface design and makes a point of making it smooth and responsive. It matters.

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post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by macxpress View Post

As Steve Jobs always said, people who are really serious about software also want to do their own hardware. 

 

Historical note:

 

Jobs borrowed "People who are really serious about software should make their own hardware", from Alan Kay, who helped invent everything from OO languages to GUIs to tablets.

 

Another famous Kay quote is, "The best way to predict the future is to invent it. "

 

And, "If you don't fail at least 90 percent of the time, you're not aiming high enough."

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post


Again, no, Apple is both, and started out as a hardware company. It's in their DNA.

 

But they say they're a software company, not a hardware company.

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post #16 of 31

Hi,

 

I work for Philips and just want to make it clear, Philips hue is sold by the Philips lighting division, not by our consumer division and is not impacted by today's announcement. 

 

Thanks,

 

Silvie Casanova


Edited by Silvie Casanova - 1/29/13 at 7:55am
post #17 of 31
They don't say they are anything. Steve is dead.
post #18 of 31

Philips: the inventor of the audio cassette.

post #19 of 31
Originally Posted by chris.com View Post
Anyone know if this includes Norelco as well?

 

It better not. I've no intention of either going Amish or shopping for a new brand.


Originally Posted by kkerst View Post
They don't say they are anything. Steve is dead.

Well, his argument is soundly defeated¡ 😒

post #20 of 31

This is limited to the audi/video part of the Philips business. The kitchen equipment, lighting equipment, shavers, toothbrushes and all the Healthcare is not affected by this. Philips sold its North American TV business to the same company a few years ago

post #21 of 31

Boohoo, cry my a river.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Philips: the inventor of the audio cassette.

 

And of the Compact Disc.

post #23 of 31

Is it safe to assume that this does not affect Avent?

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by KDarling View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilM View Post

Philips: the inventor of the audio cassette.

And of the Compact Disc.

True, but only the A>D part, they weren't able to get the D>A part working and called Sony.

OT: the little hole in a CD is exactly the same size at a 'dubbeltje', Dutch 10 cents, or 1/10th of a Guilder.

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post #25 of 31

iPilva. Is it safe to assume that this does not affect Avent?

 

No, only their HiFi, audio, & video business. Their home (eg lighting), personal, & healthcare are not effected.

 

As has been previously stated, their TV business was offloaded last year.

post #26 of 31
As others have said here, this is sad news. Philips made some great consumer products over the years (They co-developed the CD together with Sony). They're unique take on electric shavers for-instance and most recently a very good range of TV's and headphones amongst other things. Will these products continue to be available under the 'Funai' brand perhaps? Or maybe they'll just license the Philips name to Funai...
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by kkerst View Post


WHAT? And you think software companies know anything about designing hardware? Trust me, I speak from experience here, most software engineers don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold onto.


I dispute this assertation about software engineers. We do know which end to hold, like all engineers we learn from experience and I have the healed up burn scars on my hands to prove it !

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

As others have said here, this is sad news. Philips made some great consumer products over the years (They co-developed the CD together with Sony). They're unique take on electric shavers for-instance and most recently a very good range of TV's and headphones amongst other things. Will these products continue to be available under the 'Funai' brand perhaps? Or maybe they'll just license the Philips name to Funai...


Funai are paying 150m euros ($200m; £130m) and a regular brand licensing fee to take on the product lines. So it looks like the product name will survive.

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

OT: the little hole in a CD is exactly the same size at a 'dubbeltje', Dutch 10 cents, or 1/10th of a Guilder.

 

Thanks for that.  I love obscure facts.  This reminds me of the story about why the primary CD diameter was set at 120mm... that one of the CEO's wives wanted to be able to play the longest known version of Beethoven's Ninth.

 

One of the engineers gives more detail about why that wasn't what they designed for, although it makes a great story.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by kkerst View Post

WHAT? And you think software companies know anything about designing hardware? Trust me, I speak from experience here, most software engineers don't know which end of a soldering iron to hold onto.

 

Q. How many software engineers does it take to change a light bulb?

A.  None.  It's a hardware problem.

 

Q. How many Microsoft programmers does it take to change a light bulb?

A.  That cannot be done.  You must upgrade your house instead.

post #30 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silvie Casanova View Post

Hi,

 

I work for Philips and just want to make it clear, Philips hue is sold by the Philips lighting division, not by our consumer division and is not impacted by today's announcement. 

 

Thanks,

 

Silvie Casanova

Great to hear.  I almost pulled the trigger on a starter kit.  Now I can do so knowing I can add more when the time comes.  :-)

 

Any plans for brighter versions of the Hue?

post #31 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1983 View Post

As others have said here, this is sad news. Philips made some great consumer products over the years (They co-developed the CD together with Sony). They're unique take on electric shavers for-instance and most recently a very good range of TV's and headphones amongst other things. Will these products continue to be available under the 'Funai' brand perhaps? Or maybe they'll just license the Philips name to Funai...

Philips was the first time sell flat panels to the consumer market. It is a shame it's come to this.
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