EU Plays Role In Future Of Philips Pronto Remote Control Business

Written by David Richards In Asia     12/11/2010 | 00:55 | Category: REMOTE CONTROLS

The European Union is believed to be playing a key role in the sale of the Philips Pronto business, by refusing to allow a sale to anyone who takes manufacturing outside of the EU.



ChannelNews has been told that Philips has been trying to move their Pronto remote control manufacturing business outside of Europe for some time in an effort to remain competitive. 

We have also been told that the business had already been sold and that a deal was already on the table when Philips announced that they were shutting the Pronto business down earlier this month.

CE Pro in the USA said earlier this week that the buzz in Europe is that Philips Pronto is well on its way to a new life with "the same name, new owners".

CE Pro obtained a letter, dated 2 November, from a major Philips Pronto distributor in Europe, telling dealers that the future of Pronto is already on its way with new players. "For you, for us, no worries, nothing changes."

Observers say that the key to the new business is a new Philips Pronto CRX controller which allows a multitude of devices to talk to a home management system including Apple iPad's and Smartphones and lighting and distributed audio systems from other manufacturers to be connected.

"Depending on how good this controller is will depend on whether the Philips Pronto business has a future. Remotes similar to what Philips Pronto has been selling are dead, they are expensive over engineered and yesterdays technology", said a Pronto reseller in Australia. 

The European distributor claims that the new Pronto Edit Pro 3 (PEP3) programming platform is still scheduled to ship this month, and that the Philips TSW9500 in-wall touchscreen will be delivered in December, as originally planned. 

Another source told CE Pro "There is a deal in process" and Philips will make an official announcement within 60 days. "Dealers and end users will not see the transition to new ownership."

Despite announcements that Philips plans to close their global Philips Pronto business 10 days ago no Philips Pronto staff have received termination notices and as one Philips executive told ChannelNews in Asia "It's business as normal".

CE Pro said that EU regulators prohibited Philips from selling its assets to a company that would send manufacturing overseas.  Philips executives have confirmed to ChannelNews that the Company had attempted to move its manufacturing to Asia in the past, but were stopped by the EU.