Launch Of Google TV Revue A 'Big Mistake,' Logitech CEO Says
At its launch, the Logitech Revue was hailed as the "TV of the future:" by bringing Google TV to televisions everywhere, the Revue, a set top box, promised it would usher in a new age of "smarter" TVs and "reinvent interaction."
Now, Logitech CEO Guerrino De Luca is singing a decidedly different tune and offered a stark assessment of the failure of both the Revue, which Logitech will cease producing after barely a year, and Google TV.
The launch of the Google TV-powered Revue in 2010 was "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature," De Luca said at Logitech's recent investor event, according to The Verge. He added that expecting people to snap up the $300 device was "a big mistake."
De Luca estimated that the Revue, along with "miscues" in certain markets, cost Logitech more than $100 million in operating profits over the past year.
Crippled by glitchy software, a dearth of high-quality content, and the need for pricey hardware, Google TV has not managed to take over the smart TV market with its web-meets-television pitch. Despite Google TV's setbacks, the web giant isn't giving up. In an effort to make headway in users' living rooms, Google recently revamped its Google TV software to add more apps, simplify its interface, and improve the experience of watching YouTube on TVs (though whether users are eager to watch viral videos from their living rooms is another question).
The Verge notes that De Luca dismissed the first version of Google TV as "beta" software and said that Logitech, with the launch of the Revue, had "executed a full scale launch with a beta product and it cost us dearly."
The Revue debuted at $300 and came with a keyboard controller -- a remote control the size of a computer keyboard with over 80 buttons -- as well as a companion box that took some finagling to install. Earlier this year, Logitech cut the Revue's pricetag to $250, then dropped it again to $99.
The company admitted in a report released in July of this year that sales of the Revue were negative, with returns of the device actually higher than its "very modest sales."
Sony launched its own Google TV set last year and this device also seems to be struggling: Sony slashed the prices of its Google TV sets in August, cutting the price of its 24-inch set by more than half.
CORRECTION: This article has been updated to clarify that Logitech's $100 million loss in operating profit was not due solely to the Revue, but also attributable to "operational miscues in EMEA [Europe, the Middle East and Africa]."