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Philips Licenses Its Flat Screens For U.S. Market

Royal Philips Electronics, the Dutch consumer electronics giant, will license the manufacturing of flat-screen TVs to Tokyo-based Funai Electric for at least five years. Funai already sells Emerson, Sylvania and other lower-priced brands in North America.

As prices for flat-panel, LCD TVs continue to fall, Philips has been squeezed: while a well-known name, its televisions have not occupied the premium brand position of Sony and Samsung and the company could not compete on the low end with commodity brands like Vizio and Westinghouse.

Funai will be responsible for sourcing, distribution, marketing, sales and customer service for the Philips and Magnavox brands. Philips will continue to design, manufacture and market televisions in the rest of the world and also oversee Funai's U. S. marketing. "Philips has a great top-tier brand in Europe, but it has been difficult for them to realize that premium positioning in the U.S.," says Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis for NPD Group.



Read the whole story at The New York Times »

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