Competing development groups from AEG and Siemens Halske joined forces in 1903 to form the „Gesellschaft für drahtlose Telegraphie mbH“, later Telefunken. It was founded as a competitor to the Marconi Corporation and not only united the parent companies AEG and Siemens, but also their patents.
Telefunken earned an excellent reputation with the construction of the transmitter site of Norddeich Radio in 1905 and Nauen in 1906. Telefunken wrote history as a brand not only by manufacturing its own equipment, but also by selling domestic radios and records and corresponding turntables. As early as 1928, Telefunken presented a television system based on mechanical scanning and equipped the first electronic television studio in 1938. Commercial intercept receivers, equipment for maritime and aeronautical communication and military telecommunication systems also contributed to the rise of Telefunken. After the end of the Second World War, most of the remaining production facilities were dismantled.
As early as 1945, Telefunken resumed its own receiver production in Berlin, initially with „emergency radios“. In addition to domestic radios, the range of Telefunken equipment was soon expanded to include commercial transmitters and receivers, television technology and audio recorders.
Numerous commercial receivers gave Telefunken an excellent reputation in maritime and in military communications. On the other hand, Telefunken also sold an enormous range of domestic electronics.
Around 1941 Telefunken was taken over completely by AEG, and around 1967 Telefunken GmbH, which had been independent until then, was merged with AEG to form AEG-Telefunken. Due to economic difficulties, certain business areas were spun off from the group after 1970.
In 1979, the company was renamed AEG - Telefunken Aktiengesellschaft, and the fragmented group had to file for bancruptcy in 1982. Telefunken was able to get on its own feet again and produced civil and military communication systems.
The consumer electronics division was spun off from the group in 1972 and later transferred to the French Thomson group.
The radio frequency and transmitter technology division was transferred to DASA (Deutsche Aerospace AG) in 1989 under the name Telefunken Systemtechnik GmbH; the manufacturer of commercial communication technology now operates as Telefunken RACOM.