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Logitech Pulling the Plug on Google TV Set-Boxes

November 12, 2011

CORRECTION: The $100 million worth of operating losses experienced by Logitech, as reported below, were not solely the result of the Revue. According to the company’s Analysts & Investor’s Day slides (published online as a PDF file), that figure also includes losses obtained from “operational miscues” in the EMEA region (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) and “product portfolio oversights.” We at RedOrbit apologize for any confusion.

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One of the biggest early supporters of Google TV is pulling their support from the television/Internet hybrid after losing millions of dollars developing set-top boxes, various media outlets reported Friday.

According to Jessica Guynn of the Los Angeles Times, Logitech Chairman of the Board and CEO Guerrino De Luca called his company’s launch of their Google TV-branded Revue “a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature” while speaking during an event for analysts and investors.

De Luca said that the company would allow the Revue inventory to become exhausted in order to bring “closure” to the Google TV “saga,” which Guynn points out included “steep price cuts” to Logitech’s set-top boxes. De Luca added that the company had “no plans” to roll out another product to replace Revue, and that while be believed that the “grandchild of Google TV” might be successful, he doubted that the current product would ever catch on.

“It’s a major blow to Google’s TV aspirations,” Guynn said. “Logitech device owners will still get the updated software Google released last month. But it’s an orphaned product.”

PC World reporter Jared Newman wrote on Friday that the failed Revue venture cost the company “well over $100 million in operating profit” and forced former CEO Gerald Quindlen to resign last July. He also cites a slide from Logitech’s analyst and investor day as citing that the company “executed a full scale launch with a beta product and it cost us dearly.”

“The first version of Google TV took criticism for its complicated interface, buggy and slow performance and lack of Web-based content, thanks in large part to TV networks blocking the software from their streaming video sites,” Newman said. “And compared to cheap set-top boxes like Roku and Apple TV, Logitech’s $300 Revue wasn’t an easy sell.”

The company reduced the products price to $100 over the summer, PC World added.

De Luca said that Google TV hit the market with software that “was not complete and not tuned to what the consumers want at the living room let alone all the issues with content delivery that the threat of the proceeds threat that Google posed us to other content providers generated,” according to Jason Kincade of Tech Crunch.

Last month, Google announced plans to release a revamped version of the software which displayed Internet content on users’ TV screens. The new version of Google TV is designed to be easier to use, to encourage customers to try out more of the service’s features, to open up the platform for Android developers to create applications for it, and to show off its YouTube video-sharing service.

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Source: RedOrbit Staff & Wire Reports



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