Coby Electronics Corporation

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Coby Electronics Corporation
Former type Private
Industry Consumer electronics
Fate Acquired by Gordon Brothers Group
Founded 1991
Defunct June 2013 (June 2013)
Headquarters Lake Success, New York
Key people Young Dong Lee, Legal Representative/CEO
Products Home and Portable A/V Consumer Electronics
Revenue Increase $300 million USD
Employees 2,000
Website http://www.cobyusa.com/, http://www.globalmarket.com/coby, http://www.ecoby.com
Low-end Android tablet

Coby Electronics Corporation was an American manufacturer of consumer electronics products headquartered in Lake Success, New York, with offices and factories around the world (including the United States, Mexico, and China). With the joint efforts of Coby Electronics Co. of Hong Kong and Coby Electronics Corp. of the United States the products reached consumers in Asia, North America, South America and Europe;[1] however, the company mostly sold in Europe and the United States. Coby also served as an OEM manufacturer for brands including Samsung, NEC, RadioShack's Presidian brand and Hyundai. Coby formerly provided OEM manufacturing for Daewoo, which is now defunct.

Coby closed its doors in June 2013 due to financial trouble. Gordon Brothers Group acquired some assets formerly owned by Coby Electronics. Gordon Brothers Group did not purchase liabilities such as customer warranties.[2] [3]

History[edit]

Coby was founded by Young Dong Lee who owned 100 percent of its capital stock. Its name came from deleting the "w" and second "o" in Cowboy.[4] The logo was written in Bookman Old Style Bold,[5] which resembles the serif font used in the Sony logo. Lee (born 1955 in South Korea) originally owned an electronics wholesaler called Cowboy.[6]

The company's original headquarters was in an industrial area of Maspeth, Queens. In 2008 it moved the world headquarters to Lake Success, New York. The former headquarters remained as a company warehouse.[7]

With the establishment of a new factory and new manufacturing processes in early 2006, the company very publicly sought to re-brand itself as a maker of higher-quality goods; they tended, however, to be in the low-price range.[8] Its main factory was on 400 acres (1.6 km2) in Jiangxi Province in China. It was designed to accommodate up to 5,000 employees.[6]

In March 2013, Coby Electronics lost a case in New York State by Koninklijke Philips Electronics, N.V for failure to pay DVD licensing fees.[9]

In April 2013, Coby Electronics laid off 35% of their work staff and closed a warehouse in Savannah, GA citing slow economic times.[10]

Closure[edit]

Due to severe financial problems following a contract dispute with Philips, on August 16, 2013, Coby Electronics Corporation went out of business, with Gordon Brothers Group acquiring inventory, fixtures, equipment, intellectual property, global trademarks and patents.[11] Gordon Brothers have stated that they did not assume any of Coby's liabilities, including customer warranties, and they will attempt to revive the company as a consumer electronics firm. hhgregg is the only known retailer honoring warranties for Coby products purchased from their store.[2]

Television recall after closure[edit]

On December 13, 2013, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of Coby's 32" TFTV3229 flat-screen television due to overheating and fire concerns. Due to Coby being out of business, select retailers who sold the TFTV3229 set have taken on the responsibility to replace each of the sets returned by their customers.[12]

Products[edit]

Coby products spanned home and portable audio and video electronics plus accessories. Leading categories included LCD televisions, internet tablets, MP3 players, tablet DVD players, digital picture frames and surround-sound home theater systems. Available in metropolitan, regional and metropolitan brick and mortar storefronts or via the Internet, Coby's products were found in a wide range of locations.

Recalls[edit]

Coby voluntarily conducted four product recalls three years, on 10/22/2009, 10/8/2008, 11/8 and 4/18/2007.[13] In all instances, Coby provided full refunds to all consumers. Some consumers have reported issues with the MP822-4G, and Coby used to have a downloadable "fix" on its website.[14]

Company names[edit]

Coby Kyros brand tablet.

This company also did business under the name of Coby Electronics Inc.[15] and Foshan Coby Electronics Corporation.[16]

Domain name[edit]

In 2006, Coby Electronics Corporation unsuccessfully attempted to use the Uniform Domain-Name Dispute-Resolution Policy to acquire the coby.com domain from Coby O'Brien, an individual who first registered it in 1996. This is commonly referred to as reverse domain hijacking. O'Brien successfully defended his ownership of the domain. Coby Electronics Corporation uses cobyusa.com instead.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Coby: An Ever-thriving AV Giant". GlobalMarket.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-28. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  2. ^ a b Northrup, Laura. "Coby Electronics Shuts Down, Taking Customer Warranties With It". The Consumerist. Consumer Media LLC/Consumer Reports. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 
  3. ^ http://gordonbrothers.com/About-Us/Press-Releases/2013/8/Coby.aspx
  4. ^ Coby Electronics 20th Anniversary - cobyusa.com - Retrieved October 8, 2011
  5. ^ WhatTheFont
  6. ^ a b A Maker of $14.99 TV's Aims for Higher Ground - New York Times - April 5, 2006
  7. ^ Coby Electronics expands from Queens to Lake Success - Newsday - May 23, 2008
  8. ^ Marriott, Michel (2006-04-05). "A Maker of $14.99 TV's Aims for Higher Ground". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  9. ^ Decision and Order NY Court law report
  10. ^ "Coby Cuts Workforce, Closing Warehouse". Twice. 
  11. ^ Gordon Brothers Group buys all assets of Coby on Aug 28, 2013
  12. ^ "Eight Retailers Recall 32” Coby Flat Screen Televisions Due to Fire and Burn Hazards - Recall #14-054" (Press release). Consumer Product Safety Commission. 13 December 2013. Retrieved 13 December 2013. 
  13. ^ "Coby Electronics consumer product safety information webpage.". Retrieved 2008-12-06. 
  14. ^ Coby Media Manager fix for MP822
  15. ^ "COBY Electronics Co., Ltd. Company Profile". GlobalMarket.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  16. ^ "China Export-Enabled Manufacturer". GlobalMarket.com. Archived from the original on 2007-11-30. Retrieved 2007-12-05. 
  17. ^ "Coby Electronics Corporation v Coby Co.". Domain Statute. 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2013-12-15.