Once a worldwide leader in the television industry, Philips has thrown in the towel and is exiting the business. The company has been headed in that direction for some time. In 2008, they licensed their brand name to Funai for sales in North America. (Funai also makes televisions under some other familiar brands, including Emerson, Sylvania, and Symphonic.) Philips already has similar licensing agreements in effect for China and India.
The company has announced that the rest of its television business will be taken over by TPV, which already licenses the brand name for television sales in China. TPV is better known for its other brands, including AOC and Emerson.
Will this change have a big impact on the flat panel television market? Probably not. TPV is likely to continue to get many of its panels from the same suppliers, so it probably won’t change their sales in the short term. It is possible that TPV may transition to lower cost panels from other sources, but that will likely take some time and the current market share of the Philips brand is not so large that this would cause a sea change in the supply chain in any case.
Still, it’s another data point marking just how difficult the flat panel HDTV market has become. I won’t be surprised to read news of other well-known names getting out of the business before this year is over.