Logitech burned by Google TV flop

Logitech has admitted that the launch of its Google TV set-top box, Logitech Revue, "was a big mistake" because the software wasn't fit for consumer use. Guerrino De Luca, Logitech's chairman, acting president and chief executive officer, didn't argue with the thinking behind Google TV, and said "the integration of television and internet is inevitable.

Logitech has admitted that the launch of its Google TV set-top box, Logitech Revue, "was a big mistake" because the software wasn't fit for consumer use. Guerrino De Luca, Logitech's chairman, acting president and chief executive officer, didn't argue with the thinking behind Google TV, and said "the integration of television and internet is inevitable. But the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided and also cost us dearly."

De Luca was in a mood for admitting mistakes when he spoke at the Logitech Analyst & Investor Day 2011 on Wednesday, and listed the Logitech Revue as the company's second big mistake. It was, he said, "a mistake of implementation of gigantic nature." He thought the concept was right, but the timing, approach, and implementation all turned out to be wrong.

De Luca said:

"Google TV is a great concept. Google TV has the potential to completely disrupt the living room… except that that was not the case when we launched Logitech Revue. Logitech Revue was launched with what, I wouldn't call it beta properly, but the software was definitely not complete, and not tuned to the level of what consumers want…. "To make a long story short, we thought we had invented sliced bread, and we just made them. We made commitments, we just built a lot, because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and just buy this box at $300. That was a big mistake. "I would do it again. I would definitely want to help Google establish Google TV, but with a significantly smaller and more prudent approach. "You know, it's always the case: people tend to overestimate the short term and underestimate the long term. Google TV or the child of Google TV or the grandchild of Google TV will happen. The integration of television and internet is inevitable. But the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided and also cost us dearly."

 Guerrino De LucaGuerrino De Luca Photo credit: Logitech

Google TV flopped not just for Logitech but for other participants such as Sony and Intel. Logitech had to slash the price of the Revue to $99.99, Sony cut the price of its Google TV sets, and a month ago Intel abandoned the whole "smart TV" business: Intel's Atom-based CE4100 SoC (system-on-a-chip) was used in both the Logitech Revue and D-Link's Boxee Box.

In being a combination of Google's Chrome browser and Android operating system, the Google TV flop also parallels the Google Chromebook flop that I wrote about here yesterday (Chromebook looks like another Googleflop).

Again, however, there are no signs that Google is about to quit. It started to roll out Google TV 2.0 software (based on Android 3.1) on October 28, and the European launch is scheduled for January 2012.

Of course, it may be that Google is simply copying Microsoft's strategy of "we'll keep coming and coming and coming" and getting products right the third time ;-)

@jackschofield

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