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Philips Signs with More Telecom Companies to Make Internet Products
Aug 27, 2003
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Dutch Philips Electronics NV has joined forces with four major European telecommunications operators on Wednesday to sell consumer electronics products that can be hooked up to the Internet.

The agreements with British operator BT, Belgium's Belgacom, Deutsche Telekom's T-Com unit, and Telecom Italia follow earlier deals with Telefonica of Spain and KPN of the Netherlands.

The consumer electronics maker sees broadband products as a way to escape the ferocious price wars in simple consumer electronics devices such as DVD players from mainly Chinese manufacturers, Gerard Kleisterlee, Philips' chief executive, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Philips has already launched a HiFi set that directly plays music available on the Internet, without the need for a personal computer. The range of products will be expanded to devices such as wireless home gateways and DVD recorders.

The new partners eventually expect all electronics devices in the home will be connected with each other, as well as to the outside world with a broadband Internet connection sold by the telecommunications operators.

"Consumers want easy-to-use products that allow them to enjoy their favorite entertainment... whenever, wherever and however they choose," Gottfried Dutine, chief executive of Philips' consumer electronics unit, said in a statement.

Eventually, consumers may have the capabilities to simply display their digital photos on a TV set, then burn them on a DVD and upload them to the family web site, while playing downloaded music on their PC over the HiFi set. (Reuters)

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