Philips Out, Funai In

Funai. Get used to it. Philips had pulled out of the TV-making business in the US and Canada and pulled out Australia and New Zealand monts ago. It still handles design and manufacturing for the European market, its home field.

They turned that TV sector over to Funai, and beginning January 1, the same fate awaits DVD, Blu-ray, and home theater systems sold in the U.S. The name will remain the same, but the Philips and Magnavox brands are licenced, so outside it's Philips, inside it's Funai. This licensing deal will last at least for the next three years.

You'll still be able to get Philips products, inside and out, in these markets:

"On The Go" portables, including MP3 players, headphones and portable DVD players. Philips will also remain in the "lifestyle" business, which includes Norelco brand shavers, toothbrushes (who doesn't love their Sonicare?) and baby products.

If you really want a truly Philips product, shop now. Philips will be continuing to fulfill orders for products through the end of 2008, and they've already planned the 2009 product line, which will be absorbed by Funai.

The move makes sense, since Funai was already making the Blu-rays for Philips. A rose by any other name . . . —Leslie Shapiro

The New York Times

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