Philips Drops Out Of Consumer Electronics Business

Philips has long been known for its televisions and optical media devices, and now the company has announced that it has abandon those segments. Instead, Philips will focus on lighting and medical equipment.

The tech firm has sold its consumer electronics business to Japanese manufacturer Funai Electric Co. for $201 million.

Philips started 80 years ago as a radio manufacturer before jumping into the failed Betamax business in the 1980s. Eventually, the company gravitated towards televisions and optical disks but failed to gain the market share it hoped for in a saturated marketplace with too many competitors.

Philips did have some successes of its own in the display market, creating the Ambilight system which matches the backdrop of a TV with the color on the screen.

Speaking to the WSJ, CEO Frans van Houten proclaimed:

“Since we have online entertainment, people do not buy Blu-ray and DVD players anymore.”

The decision to cut out of the consumer electronics business came after a 2012 loss of $483 million, double the company’s losses from 2011.

The consumer electronics business continues to be a tough sector to survive in with faster moving technology and standard features that can be found across most major TV and other digital products.

Unlike years past where consumers relied on brand loyalty to make their decisions, choices are often now made based on the quality of an HDTV picture, the features crammed into each television, and various other variable that do not take brand name into consideration.

Customers can now look for different offerings from Philips, such as its brand new 20-year LED lightbulb, which debuted in April 2012.