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Logitech CEO: Google TV a 'gigantic mistake'
End of the line for connected-TV Revue
The CEO of Logitech has slammed Google’s TV service and has said his company will not develop hardware for the platform in the future.
In a call to analysts and investors, Guerrino De Luca didn’t mince words, calling the launch of the company’s Revue set-top box "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature" and saying that the company is dumping Google’s struggling service. He also condemned it as "a beta product" that "cost us dearly" – which begs the question of why Logitech was so keen to get into bed with Google in the first place.
“To make the long story short, we thought we had invented [sliced] bread and we just made them. [We made a commitment to] just build a lot because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes [at] $300 ... that was a big mistake,” he said, The Verge reports.
Logitech’s partnership with Google TV, as well as "operational miscues in EMEA," cost the company over $100m in operating profits, he explained. While Google TV may develop into something worthwhile, he said, it would have to do it without Logitech’s support, and the company would let its Revue inventory run out as soon as possible.
Logitech launched the Revue last year in the run-up to Christmas, hoping that consumers in the US – and later in the UK – would shell out $299.99 for the privilege of using Google’s offering, with an additional $149.99 for a camera to make video calls.
The devices, however, sold like stale cakes, and Logitech was forced to cut the price to $99, and acknowledged in July that the unpopular service had cost the company $34m.
Despite all the hype around so-called smart TVs, there appears to be very little consumer demand – although Google continues to attempt to make its TV system relevant, upgrading the service last month, adding a sleek new user interface.
But since the service isn’t supported by ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, or Viacom, there’s not much to watch on it (except porn) and virtually no apps – despite Google's attempts to interest developers.
That said, both Sony and Samsung are building sets that can handle the service, and LG may also support the platform.
"Logitech 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 spokesman told The Register. “We’re 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."
But that next generation won't include devices from Logitech. ®