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Old 29th January 2013, 04:21 AM   #1
The Don
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Philips to get out of audio-visual

Philips, the Dutch electronics company is to get out of the DVD and hi-fi business to concentrate on its (now) core healthcare, light bulbs and home appliances businesses.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21242127

I have a particular historic interest because Philips sponsored me through university, employed me during holidays and allowed me access to their staff shop (so that even 25 years later my Dad's house still has a number of Philips appliances).

I find it interesting that some companies always seem to either be diversifying or focusing on their core business but somehow always seem to go backwards at each step. Philips reminds me of ICI a bit. Years ago ICI was a major global business but since focusing on core businesses has managed to make itself into a niche player in the paints and surface coatings business. In the process it has lost most of its shareholder value but I'm sure that the business's management and advisors knew what they were doing.

My feeling is that Philips has the problem that it is neither fish nor fowl. It doesn't have the brand to compete with the likes of Sony on image but doesn't deliver value like LG or Samsung. Apart from maybe lightbulbs and and electric shaver, I haven't bought a Philips product in 20 years.
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Old 29th January 2013, 12:26 PM   #2
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That's the end of an era. Philips once was a major player in the audio/video market, with innovations as the compact cassette tape and the CD, and of course the DCC and Video-2000.
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Old 29th January 2013, 01:10 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
That's the end of an era. Philips once was a major player in the audio/video market, with innovations as the compact cassette tape and the CD, and of course the DCC and Video-2000.
The problem was that they never seemed to have the knack to mass produce it efficiently, and would get shut out of the market by whatever company did.
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Old 29th January 2013, 01:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by cwalner View Post
The problem was that they never seemed to have the knack to mass produce it efficiently, and would get shut out of the market by whatever company did.
Exactly. Having a innovative idea is only half the struggle. Being able to make it profitible is another thing altogether.
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Old 29th January 2013, 02:03 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by cwalner View Post
The problem was that they never seemed to have the knack to mass produce it efficiently, and would get shut out of the market by whatever company did.
They certainly weren't good at making an appealing design. In particular, their user interfaces seemed to be designed by engineers.
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Old 29th January 2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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I agree, Philips has always been a good and innovative company. I'm sorry to see them leave the audio-visual market but I'm glad it's a change of focus rather than a company closing.
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Old 29th January 2013, 02:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ddt View Post
That's the end of an era. Philips once was a major player in the audio/video market, with innovations as the compact cassette tape and the CD, and of course the DCC and Video-2000.
Yep, if you have an S/PDIF cable the "P" stands for "Philips". The "S" is Sony.

Sony isn't doing so hot lately either.
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Old 29th January 2013, 03:49 PM   #8
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This is a shame, my current monitor at home is a Phillips, they have always produced very good products you can rely on. They might not be the cheapest, but I've never had any issues with them, like I have other brands.
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Old 29th January 2013, 07:50 PM   #9
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This is essentially meaningless. Funai will continue to make sets. You'll see the remaining Philips line (that isn't already just a Magnavox with a different name sticker and stand) subsumed into Magnavox. Same with cables.
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Old 30th January 2013, 03:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by cwalner View Post
The problem was that they never seemed to have the knack to mass produce it efficiently, and would get shut out of the market by whatever company did.
Didn't they licence some of those?
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Old 30th January 2013, 08:16 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Acleron View Post
Didn't they licence some of those?
I think they did with the CD, but I am pretty sure that even with that, Sony made a lot more profit from the CD than Phillips ever did.
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Old 3rd February 2013, 11:11 PM   #12
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"Focusing on the core business" ::= For AT&T that meant "trying to make money with long distance when their overhead was more than their competitors price to consumers".

In any business, there comes a time when the core business is going to fail. Those who hold to the core go over the cliff, crash at the bottom, and burn.

It really is that simple.

In Philips case, well, sorry, I probably can't comment as much as I'd like, but they made some interesting business decisions when they decided to get into content, oh, just like another big electronics company from Japan, remember them?

LG and Samsung are eating that company's lunch, too.
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