Logitech Giving Up on Google TV After Losing $100M

(NASDAQ:LOGI) CEO Guerrino De Luca didn’t mince words in announcing that the
peripherals maker was giving up on its Logitech Revue companion box, noting
that the Google TV device cost the company more than $100 million in operating

Google TV is
the search engine provider’s stab at combining elements of TV programming with
Web surfing, including the delivery of entertainment and gaming applications
through set-top boxes such as the Revue. Logitech launched the Revue, powered by
Google’s Android software and an Intel Atom chip, for $300 last October with
high hopes of selling hundreds of thousands of the boxes for the Christmas

The Revue
failed to gain traction as reviewers and early adopters found the system
difficult to set up and the Google TV service itself too buggy. Logitech
discounted the Revue to $99 this past July after the company confessed that returns of the box were
greater than sales.

Partly due to
this failure, Logitech lost $30 million in the first quarter and took a $34
million charge. Logitech’s board promptly fired then-CEO Gerald Quindlen.

Logitech had
been pretty hush-hush about the Revue since then until De Luca dropped the
hammer on the ill-fated device during the company’s analyst day Nov. 10. The company
will no longer make the Revue boxes. While he conceded Google TV has great
potential to “disrupt the living room,” Logitech made “a mistake
of implementation of a gigantic nature” with the Revue.

he suggested the software wasn’t polished and that there wasn’t enough content
to draw consumer interest. Google TV launched with Netflix and Amazon Instant
Video applications, but most TV broadcast networks failed to provide content
for the service. Google, for example, failed to get TV network-backed Hulu to
support its TV project.

Google was
also late rolling out its long-anticipated Google TV 2.0 Honeycomb upgrade,
which features Android Market application support but didn’t arrive until late

“To make
the long story short, we thought we had invented sliced bread, and we just made
them,” De Luca said during the analyst day, according to
transcription notes provided by Seeking Alpha
. “We just built a
lot because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes
for $300, and that was a big mistake.”

He added that
he was amenable to supporting Google TV in the future, but only once the
service is established and with a smaller, more prudent approach.

What does this
mean for Logitech Revue users? Google told eWEEK
the Revue would still receive the Google TV 2.0 Honeycomb 3.1 upgrade that is currently rolling out to users of Sony Google TV systems.

has been a good partner in the early days of Google TV, and the feedback from
Revue users has been very important for the design of the new version of Google
TV announced two weeks ago,” a Google spokesperson told eWEEK.

excited about new partnerships with new chipset vendors and new hardware
manufacturers, which we will announce at a later date. These partnerships will
help power the next generation of Google TV devices in 2012.”

One of those
providers looks to be LG Electronics, which Bloomberg said would be launching a Google TV set
at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show in January.

One thing is
clear: Google isn’t ready to give up on its service, especially not with Apple
rumored to be launching a Web TV system next year.


Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Search-Engines/Logitech-Giving-Up-on-Google-TV-After-Losing-100M-344197/

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