updated 01:30 am EST, Fri November 11, 2011
Logitech slams rushed Google TV rush in exit
Logitech's acting CEO Guerrino De Luca shook up the TV field at an investor day late Thursday by revealing that the company was effectively quitting Google TV. The price-cut Revue media hub was now selling through remaining stock in the fall and wouldn't have a sequel. The company was bringing "closure to the Logitech Revue saga," he said.
The executive also went so far as to criticize not just Logitech for overestimating Google TV but Google for pushing for a rushed release. It wasn't ready for the public, and the high price that Google's platform necessitated ended up steering buyers away.
"Logitech Revue was launched with some, I wouldn’t call it 'beta' properly, but software that was not complete and not tuned to what the consumers want at the living room, let alone all the issues with content delivery," De Luca said. "We made a commitment [to] build a lot because we expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes [for] $300... that was a big mistake."
When the platform launched, Google had only a handful of pre-selected third-party apps and assumed that web video would be all that most viewers needed. When major studios started blocking Google TV, though, it largely negated the point of the Revue or other hubs outside of YouTube and independent videos.
He still thought Google TV could work and that Logitech could be involved again, but he wanted a "smaller and more prudent approach." His company would instead rest "on the bench" until Google had more completely developed the platform. The industry shouldn't "count Google out," he said, but any success would come in the long term.
Regardless, the departure combined with other factors casts doubts on the platform and could create a major failure for Android. It leaves just Sony as the only active Google TV supporter, with Vizio yet to ship its sets and Samsung not having even announced its own. Adobe's decision to quit mobile Flash will deprive Google TV of its only real advantage for Internet video, and Intel has already said it's backing out of related chips, pushing companies involved to switch to ARM processors.
So far, the only media hub of the kind to have sustained success is the Apple TV, although it too has sold in relatively small numbers. Decisions to start off at $99 and to rely on cleared, direct-download video helped it get sustained interest. [via The Verge]