EXCLUSIVE: A black market in Philips Pronto remote controls has developed with dealers from around the world offering hundreds of thousands of dollars for old stock.Earlier this year Philips shut down their global Pronto business, after talks with Michael Henriksen, the CEO of Qualifi in Australia, and three other dealers in France, Switzerland and the UK broke down. Henriksen had offered to buy 50% of the company.
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Yesterday Henriksen said that a market for old controllers had developed and that he was not prepared to sell his stock.
“I am getting emails all the time from people looking for Philips Pronto stock, earlier this week I had an email from a dealer in Europe who offered me $320,000 for 80 TSU 9800 units that we are currently holding for own customers in Australia”.
Henriksen said that dealers are “desperate” to get old stock because the system was reliable and they had staff, who had been trained in the Philips Pronto control technology.
Late last year Philips realised that dealers were set to move from proprietary remote control systems, to a new generation of control systems integrated via iPads, tablets and Smartphones.
As a result they put their business up for sale.