According to a recent Digittimes report, 100% of the sum total of AOpen’s North American business has been coming from digital signage sales. This is not surprising given their extensive partnerships across a broad range within the industry, including areas where they are very dominant. I can think of a few more signage companies who have been in the space of hardware.
Sounds like AOpen and Philips have even joined forces here in North America for expanding both of the companies’ solutions and product offerings. AOpen will sing the songs (provide the players) and Philips will dance (be working the displays). While it may seem like a good match up–and it probably is–there are so many reasons why this may not be the best fit for both worlds.
However, they are certainly missing a really good software component and, from my experience, there will probably be some instances of in-fighting. Another interesting thought is that display companies (and there are a lot of them: Sony, Samsung, LG, Philips, Vizio, Magnavox, JVC, Viewsonic, etc. and the list continues) don’t generally get the leads for digital out of home opportunities. Those who get the leads are generally the software companies and the audio visual integration companies. They are the ones most likely to deliver because they are the closest to the end client.
Companies have been struggling for quite a while with the question, “how do I make a good package where I can bundle the display right along with the media player and make money from bundling services?” So they go out and partner with another firm whose product fills in the gaps and they bundle them together. That’s business, that’s the name of the game.