Logitech has made it official, calling the Logitech Revue a “mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature,” and while the CEO doesn’t shy away from taking some of the blame, it’s clear that much of his ire is directed squarely at Google. The search giant’s TV efforts were originally viewed with interest, but so far, nobody’s been impressed.
Logitech’s Pamela McCracken discusses the Revue at CES 2011.
It was just a year ago that we got glimmers of the first Logitech Revue units; the box, which was one of the first to offer consumers a glance at the Google TV software, originally premiered at $299. As sales stalled, Logitech dropped the cost first to $199 and then to only $99, which put it squarely on par with competing units from Apple and Western Digital, both of which arguably offered buyers more useful features.
Google TV app stores
Rumors have abounded for the last several months that Google would be bringing the possibility of running extra and 3rd-party applications to the Android-powered TV boxes. No one has been certain what applications could do that current Google TV couldn’t, or why people would be interested in running lots of new software on their televisions. Still, though, Google officially announced that they’d be updating the main GTV software to enable 3rd-party apps and Logitech recently announced the release of Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue, which brings with it a large number of performance and software updates – this comes just a few weeks after Sony updated their own Internet TVs and Google TV-powered Blu-ray player to the same version.
Still, it’s just too little too late for Logitech and the sleekly designed Revue; they admitted to putting far too much money, efforts and commitment into building these boxes. At Christmas last year, Logitech rather naively assumed that people would see Google and line up for the devices on brand recognition alone. That obviously didn’t pan out.
The future is still bright! Sort of…
Despite all of the downsides that Google TV brought to Logitech (along the lines, CEO Guerrino De Luca admitted, of $100 million), the company isn’t all down on the idea. The company’s CEO said that Google would likely make a successful version of their TV software sometime down the line, but it would not look like today’s version, rather a “grandchild of Google TV.”
Logitech, for their part, is going to wait until that day comes before they dip their toe in the GTV waters again. Sony, at least, hasn’t called it quits on Google TV or publically bagged on the search engine company for its weak customer draw. For now, that will have to do – Sony and Logitech are the only partners that Google lists on their website. Hopefully, it won’t stay that way.