Control & Automation

Philips Shuts Down Pronto Business Unit

The remote control product line 'no longer fits with the Philips' strategy.'


Bye, bye Pronto. The remotes, like this TSU9300, were a force in the industry for more than 10 years.
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Philips says it is shutting down its Pronto remote control product line. The company has been trying to find a buyer for the Pronto business since 2009 and was unsuccessful.

From the official statement:

“In December 2009, Philips announced the intention to relocate some of its existing remote control activities in Leuven, Belgium to Asia. At the same time, the intention was communicated to investigate alternative strategic options for the Pronto business, as this activity no longer fits with the Philips strategy. Following thorough research, no suitable partner was found for the acquisition of these activities. As such, Philips confirms today that it will discontinue the Pronto product line and related activities. “

The iconic brand targeted at the custom installation industry was first introduced in the 1990s. Since that time, the competitive landscape for remote controls has gotten much more crowded.

UPDATE
Philips Pronto: What Went Wrong?
Integrators and other business partners say the iPod/iPad wasn’t to blame for the demise of Philips Pronto; why didn’t Philips try harder to find a buyer?

The shutdown is especially surprising since Philips just invested a significant amount of R&D into the development of its new TSW9500 in-wall Pronto touchscreens. The product received strong reviews last month at the CEDIA Expo.

The Pronto business, headquartered in Leuven, Belgium, serves the custom audio-video installation market with advanced control devices. Lower-end versions of the remotes are sold online and via retail outlets such as Sears.

The company says it “will engage in a dialogue with its social partners on the consequences for the involved personnel of this announcement.”

Due in part to the time difference, Philips executives could not be reached for comment in regards to specific advice for integrators with units in stock or in the field who may be seeking technical assistance, warranty support or repair parts. [Editor’s note: CE Pro intends to update this article upon receiving comments from Philips.]

Also, while the shutdown was announced today, Pronto remotes will likely remain on the market for quite some time as inventories are exhausted. 

What impact will Pronto’s departure have on the automation market?



  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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