This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2013)
|Founded||1923; 100 years ago|
|Aslan Khabliev, CEO |
Thomas Putz, CTO
Christian Alber, COO
|Products||TVs, audio products and multiroom solutions[buzzword]|
Loewe Technology GmbH, doing business as Loewe ([ˈløːvə], roughly LOO-və), is a German company that develops, designs, manufactures and sells consumer electronics and electromechanical products and systems. The company was founded in Berlin, 1923, by brothers Siegmund and David L. Loewe. Since 1948, the company has based its headquarters and production facilities in the Bavarian town of Kronach, Upper Franconia.
The company was started in 1923 in Berlin, when Siegmund Loewe and his brother David Ludwig Loewe established a radio manufacturing company named Radiofrequenz GmbH. Their work with the young physicist Manfred von Ardenne in 1926 led to the development of the Loewe 3NF, an early attempt to combine several functions into one electronic device, similar to the modern integrated circuit.
Television development began at Loewe in 1929. The company worked together with British television pioneer John Logie Baird. In 1931, Manfred von Ardenne presented the world's first fully electronic television to the public on the Loewe stand at the 8th Berlin Radio Show.
When Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany, Siegmund Loewe was forced to emigrate to the US in 1938, where he developed a friendship with Albert Einstein. Funkabwehr agents obtained radio detection-finders vans from Loewe-Opta to be used against espionage in Belgium.
In 1949, Siegmund Loewe regained possession of the company's property and took over as chairman of the supervisory board. In the 1950s, Loewe began producing the Optaphon, a cassette tape recorder, and manufacturing televisions in Kronach. In 1961, Loewe began mass production of the Optacord 500, a video recorder.
In 1962, the family company tradition ended with the death of Siegmund Loewe. Subsidiaries of the Philips group took over the majority of shares. Under this management, which continued until 1985, the company specialised increasingly in the development and production of televisions.
In 1963, Loewe launched the Optaport, a portable television. It had a 25 cm-wide screen and built-in FM radio. The first Loewe colour televisions were launched along with the introduction of colour television in Germany. In 1979, Loewe began production of a fully integrated chassis television.
In 1985, management made Loewe a privately owned company again after Philips sold its shares. In the same year, Loewe created the Art 1, a new generation of TVs with a focus on design.
1998 marked two more milestones in the company history: the launch of the Xelos @ Media, a television with internet access, and that of the Spheros, the first Loewe flat-screen television. In the following year, Loewe AG had its IPO, led by Rainer Hecker (CEO) and Burkhard Bamberger (CFO).
Following financial hardships, in July 2013 the company filed for bankruptcy protection, but on 1 October 2013 the Loewe Group entered into a self-administration process. In March 2014 major assets from Loewe AG were taken by the Munich-based investor Stargate Capital GmbH.
In December 2019, Skytec Group Ltd took 100% ownership of the brand, creating Loewe Technology GmbH and associated subsidiaries. During 2021, Loewe introduced the SL7 streaming TV platform, standalone audio products and a new sub-brand; We.by.Loewe.
In 2021, Loewe acquired 65,000 m2 of land and buildings from the town of Kronach to secure its location for the long term future. The plans consider step-by-step renovation of the complete area with erection of new office and administrative facilities.
Loewe celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2023 adopting a new slogan “Century of Excellence”. In partnership with the town of Kronach, Loewe opened an exhibition displaying products from different historical periods at Rosenberg Castle in Kronach, which will operate for the full anniversary year. A book titled “100 years of Loewe design” has been published with another book, “100 years of Loewe history in images”, to be released later in 2023.
Loewe head office in Berlin, 1923
Siegmund Loewe & Manfred von Ardenne
Loewe local receiver, 1926
First Loewe TV, 1931
Loewe Optaphon, 1950
Loewe Iris, 1951
Loewe Optaport, 1963
Loewe Art 1, 1985
Loewe Spheros, 1998
In 1929 Loewe started producing televisions. Manfred von Ardenne focused on electronic circuits. On 14 December 1930, with the help of the cathode ray tube, he succeeded in full electronic transmission of diapositives.
In 1963, Loewe designed a fully transistorized and portable TV, the “Optaport”. The device had a screen diagonal of 9.8 inches and was equipped with an integrated ultra-short wave radio section.
In February 1981, Loewe presented the first stereo sound TV in Europe. Four years later they introduced the “Art 1”, a newly design-oriented generation of televisions.
The D2MAC method for TV components allowed digital sound to be transmitted stereo and in various languages. Loewe produced a television with an internally pluggable D2-MAC decoder, Sat-TV turner and PiP modules. However, the 1,250-line HDTV did not manage to establish itself and was taken off the market after the distribution of German programmes via Astra.
The environmentally friendly “CS1” television went into production in 1995. Television tubes could be disposed of separately while the casing cover and electronics were designed such that they could be completely melted for reuse. Hence, the CS1 was recyclable.
Xelos @ Media & Spheros
From 1995 onwards, Loewe kept evolving from classic consumer electronics to a multimedia specialist. In 1997, Loewe introduced the “Xelos @ Media” – the first TV with internet access. In the same year, the first Loewe flat-screen TV “Spheros” debuted.
MultiTel TV 10
In 1988, the MultiTel TV 10 was released. Telephoning, keeping a name register, database queries, sending telexes and telefax were available.
Individual, Art & Connect
“Individual” was the first flat-screen TV that offered individual housing options and set-up solutions.[buzzword] The “Loewe Connect”, introduced in 2008, was a Smart TV that offered wireless access to multi-media files, external hard drive, and PC systems.
In 2010 Loewe developed its first batch-produced LCD TV with LED background lighting, the next generation “Individual SL”. In the same year, the LED series “Art” and “Connect” with DR+Streaming, MediaText, HbbTV, CE-HTML and an improved streaming client were introduced at the IFA exhibition. The increasing intelligent networking of modern homes was integrated with functions like “Follow-Me,“ which enables the user to record or start watching a movie in one room and finish watching it in another room, enabling a multi-room function.
bild, klang, plus
In 2016, Loewe introduced a German nomenclature of its products in order to "authentically communicate its German roots". The German product names are supposed to convey the use of the respective products within the entertainment system: bild (TV devices), klang (speakers), and plus (accessories).
In 2021, Loewe Technology introduced a new sub brand called We.By.Loewe which targets younger generation and offers products at more affordable price points. The current range includes LCD TVs (We.See series) and speakers (We.Hear series).
- 75 Jahre Loewe (1923-1998). Und die Zukunft geht weiter, author's edition 1998
- Kilian J.L. Steiner: Ortsempfänger, Volksfernseher und Optaphon. Die Entwicklung der deutschen Radio- und Fernsehindustrie und das Unternehmen Loewe 1923–1962. Klartext Verlag, Essen 2005, ISBN 978-3-89861-492-4
- Frank Keuper, Jürgen Kindervater, Heiko Dertinger, Andreas Heim (Hrsg.): Das Diktat der Markenführung. 11 Thesen zur nachhaltigen Markenführung und -implementierung. Mit einem umfassenden Fallbeispiel der Loewe AG, Gabler Fachverlage, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8349-0852-0
- "German technology manufacturer Loewe declares bankruptcy"
- "Münchener Investor übernimmt Loewe". Handelsblatt. Retrieved 6 January 2015.