You know those gadgets that you can buy at drugstores? Back in the early 2000s it was all portable CD players and PC speakers. Now it's MP3 players with 2GB of storage and wimpy tablets. And if you've ever done last minute Christmas shopping at a Walgreens you know that the brands start to become recognizable for their no-name-ness. Coby was a staple in that lineup until recently. Now a titan of cheap, sometimes questionable electronics has fallen.
Around August, customers contacting Coby to claim on warranties began noticing that the company had gone dark. No one was answering emails or picking up the phones. The company, which once did $400 million a year of gadget business had quietly shut down.
Coby was apparently pushed over the edge by losing a contract dispute with Philips related to paying out royalties on a model of portable DVD player. The company did a round of layoffs in June and shuttered by the end of the summer. Coby has been bought by Gordon Brothers, the company that ran CompUSA's liquidation and rehabbed failing companies like Polaroid and Sharper Image. But Gordon Brothers did not buy Coby's liabilities so they're not responsible for anything in Coby warranties. HHGregg has committed to honor Coby warranties, but who knows if other stores will follow suit. RIP Coby. And if you come back from the dead try to make it worth it. [The Consumerist]