Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

Summary: Logitech reported a disappointing quarter and named an interim CEO. The company's Google TV experiment is one of the reasons why.

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Logitech reported a disappointing quarter and named an interim CEO. The company's Google TV experiment is one of the reasons why.

Granted, Logitech can't blame Google TV completely. After all, the company is in the crosshairs as PC sales remain anemic. Logitech makes peripherals that take a hit when PCs aren't flying off the shelves.

But Logitech's well documented Google TV woes aren't helping matters much. About a year ago, Logitech made a big bet on Google TV to be a digital home player. Its flagship product was the Revue (CNET Review). Now the company has too much Revue inventory and not enough buyers. The solution: Logitech is dropping the price from $249 to $99 and hoping a new user interface can save the day. Remember when then Google CEO Eric Schmidt was yapping about how the TV would be just like your PC? Even Google fans like Sam Diaz went from revolution to disappointment in a few months over Google TV and the Revue.

Oh well. Logitech reported a fiscal first quarter loss of $45 million on revenue of $480 million, up slightly from the previous year.

Related: Logitech to cut Revue price to $249. Another sign Google TV = Fail?

Acting CEO Guerrino De Luca said on Logitech's earnings conference call:

Let me begin with the Digital Home, specifically with the repricing of Logitech's Revue, or GoogleTV. We launched Revue with the expectation that it would generate significant sales growth in spite of a relatively high price point and the newness of both the Smart TV category and the underlying platform. In hindsight, there are a number of things we should have done differently, but let me be clear on one point. Engaging with Google was the right thing to do. It allows us to build a strong relationship with a technology leader, which promises to bear more fruit down the road, and to develop a thorough understanding of the emerging smart TV market.

Looking at $249 price points for Logitech Revue, it was clear to me that there was a significant gap between our price and the value perceived by the consumer. I felt it was critical that we eliminate the gap by lowering the price and making it easier for the consumer to focus on what I believe is an attractive value proposition. We obviously paid a significant price for this decision. But I am convinced this action will accelerate sales of Revue and allow us to move forward. Our commitment to an enthusiasm for the digital home opportunity is unchanged. We plan to participate in a variety of ways using harmony as the centerpiece of our strategy and focusing on smart TV, audio, and video products and solutions. We continue to believe that the digital home represents a strong growth opportunity for Logitech.

De Luca was pelted by analysts, who argued that Logitech mispriced the Revue from the very beginning.

De Luca said:

On Revue, what went wrong, what can I say? I think at the beginning we believed fully in the fact that the price point was justified, that the richness of the offer was such that the consumer would have seen that value. In truth, you're right, we were wrong. And partly due to the fact that GoogleTV has not yet fully delivered to its whole promises, witness the absence for now of an app market which I believe is a unique differentiator between GoogleTV and other competitive approach, as well some evolutions that are needed in content in UI. That said, I made the decision of cutting the price, or planning to cut the price, is pretty recent, and therefore I can say in summary that I agree with you. That we misvalued what the consumers saw in the box. That said, at $99 it's an incredibly appealing proposition. And if you add to that the incredible value of that plus our TV cam that would enable you to have a truly social video communication experience in your living room for $250 or less, it's unheard of. And I believe the consumers will see that.

De Luca followed up and noted that Google TV will get new software at the end of September with an app market. "It's a major update to the platform. It's what the platform should always have been, particularly the addition of the App Store for Android apps for the TV," he said. "The good news is that all these beautiful new things will run on the existing box."

We'll find out soon enough. Even at $99, the Revue has to compete with Roku and Apple TV at the same price. Hey consumers, is Logitech's Google TV deal a steal at $99?

Topics: Hardware, Google, Mobility

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32 comments
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  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    Logitech's problem is that their quality has consistently gone down over the last five years.
    Teran
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Teran Quality No 1, i see it the Apple of accessories
      swisslakes
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Teran
      I'd have to disagree with that. I have several mice and peripherals from them within the past 3 years and all have been solid. The reason I have 4 mice from them is that I have several machines. Being a heavy user for productivity and gaming, I've beaten their products to hell and even threw one against the wall as a test only to pick it up and start using it again no problem.
      Those who hunt Trolls
      • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

        @Silverback1138

        Agreed. Logitech's quality is second to none, according to user ratings and techie ratings on various websites.

        One person said that he basically stepped on his Logitech Marathon Mouse one time and it kept on working for another year after that incident.
        Lerianis10
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Teran IDK what you bought but Logitech is the best peripheral company out there IMO.

      I currently have an old G9 and a G15 and both are still working to perfection. I might get a G9x or the new G700!
      Tommy S.
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    At $99 I might pick one up and play with it but I doubt it can compete with my Apple TV which I can control from my iPhone and iPad and stream iTunes. AirPlay is awesome too! VEVO is one of the best Apps for AirPlay.
    Hasam1991
  • Not interested at $99 either but youve made the $249 buyers happy now!

    But really the problem with this isn't the price. It's just a half baked turd. No one wants yet another set top box and yet another remote. TV's are sold with built in wifi now just like the laptops of yesteryear. My tv already has a power supply. Use it. My tv already has an IR reciever. Use it. etc. etc. etc. And a google tc app store? Are you kidding me? Havent you noticed that the android appstore is crammed full of malware/spyware? Do you want to be trying to watch the superbowl only to have some fandroid pwn your set and stream you his fanboi manifesto video on every channel. Do you want google tracking what you watch and when you watch it and selling that to anyone who'll pay and making it searchable by anyone in the world. Do you want hackers watching everything that goes on in the room in front of your tv by hacking your webcam and streaming the juicy parts? Sorry no not hitching my wagon to anything that has googles greasy little fingers anywhere inside it...
    Johnny Vegas
  • For a lesson in UI design,......

    compare the Logitech Revue remote with an Apple TV remote.
    The number of Revue buttons is.....what...about 15 times the number of ATV buttons. Note to Logitech (and Sony, and all other Google TV suppliers): people don't want to have to use a full keyboard to control a TV set-top box.
    Userama
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Userama UI design... for the semi-functional retard?
      Tommy S.
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Userama I would have to disagree. They keyboard is very nice when surfing the net, filling out forms etc..... all while watching tv (pip). For a remote, I use my phone app both iphone and google phone which has all the functionality I need. Plus the ability to stream my multi-media is awesome. This is the best thing since mom's apple pie. I have Samsung's BRD with interent tv and I have Roku. Neither can compare to what you get with the Revue.
      freemanjr@...
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @Userama "people don't want to have to use a full keyboard to control a TV set-top box." Yes, they do. I LOVE the full keyboard. In fact, there are a couple of buttons missing, in my opinion. The keyboard is what sold me on the Revue, vs. none, or the awkward mini keys on the Sony.
      BLAlley
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    Just a bad idea from the start. It had Google's name on it. Plenty of things that went wrong.
    LoverockDavidson
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    Certainly the inital price point was ridiculous. You can get an Xbox 360 for $200, a PS3 for $300, a Wii for $150. So $250 for a box with no DVD/BlueRay doesn't make much sense. One could buy a full computer that has all these options for nearly that price. For me I already have several Xbox 360s, several computers that connect to my TVs and my main TV has apps and network connectivity. Why would I buy another box, even at $99?
    grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
    • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

      @grayknight the problem of it was in the Google TV Platform, which was not ready, most likely it will be updated with Android 3.2 which support Gaming, USB and Resolution adjustment so you could use apps in different screens, also Android Apps support
      swisslakes
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    Well I guess we can add Google+ & Google TV to the FAIL list.
    miApples
  • New Gen Google TV in September

    I think we will going to see a more diversified Logitech.
    1-Audio non PC
    2-More Mac accessories
    3-Enterprise & SMB
    4-Digital Home
    5-PC & Tablets
    swisslakes
  • Mouse cursor with track ball

    They put the web on the TV (does anyone want that?), which meant they put a mouse cursor on the Google TV (because the designers at Google are programmers not designers) which meant you have an awful thing: a box that you want to watch TV on and related stuff, but instead it wants to be a PC and surf the net.
    guihombre
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    Logitech == Overpriced, with few if any exceptions, this GoogleTV thing was way out of line for what it actually provided.
    wkulecz
  • RE: Logitech's Google TV debacle: What went wrong (everything)

    may be Apple TV @ $99 killed it?
    browser.
  • Message has been deleted.

    kangkangee