updated 08:10 pm EDT, Thu April 28, 2011
Logitech Google TV revenue just 5m
Logitech was herald of wider problems with Google TV on Thursday after its winter fiscal results (PDF) revealed very low numbers. The peripheral maker made just $5 million in sales from the Revue and all its accessories. At $300 per device, the figure would have seen it ship fewer than 16,700 of the Android-based media hubs.
The sales were a steep drop from the $22 million in the fall, the Revue's first full quarter in shops. It also fell well below its official estimates of $18 million.
Logitech chief executive Gerald Quindlen justified the plunge by claiming that his firm had reduced the amount of marketing, but the claim was contradicted by a 19 percent increase in marketing costs that had been focused heavily on Google TV.
For Google, the sales represent the current comatose state of its TV hub ambitions. Logitech was one half of the strategy, accompanied only by Sony, and if selling poorly would indicate low performance for the entire Google TV platform. The hubs have been hurt by a lack of apps as well as an overly optimistic attitude towards web video that was punished when most major TV providers blocked it and rendered its main advantage, Flash-based web video, pointless for most TV studios' content.
Apple TV, despite having no browser at all, passed the one million mark in December. Its lower $99 price and emphases on iTunes rentals, Netflix, and local media sharing have been considered vital, in part owing to near-guaranteed access to mainstream content.
Quindlen did hint that the company planned a second generation rebound. He was still "enthusiastic" about Google TV and alluded to the "next generation" as a potentially major lift. No clarification was given as to what that would involve, although Android Market support still has yet to reach Google TV after being promised for early this year.
Some anticipation has circulated around a reboot of Google TV at the upcoming Google I/O conference in May. While never confirmed by Google, rumors have persisted that it forced a last-minute delay in many companies' Google TV plans that pushed their launches from the CES expo in January to the fall to give time for a theoretically much improved version of the platform. [via GigaOM]