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Summary:

More bad news for Google TV: Device maker Logitech got more units sent back from consumers during the most recent quarter than it actually sold. It now wants to get rid of its massive inventory with a big price cut to $99, down from $249 originally.

logitech revue

Logitech told investors this week that it is preparing to slash the price of its Revue Google TV set-top box to just $99, down from $249. The price cut is meant to “remove price as barrier to broad consumer acceptance,” it stated in its investor slides. (PDF)

In other words: The Revue just didn’t sell. At all. “Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales,” the company stated in its prepared remarks. (PDF) And it’s not like Revue sold well before: Logitech made just $5 million from Revue sales in the previous quarter.

The price cut will mean that consumers will be able to buy Google TV units below cost, something Logitech has accounted for with a hefty $34 million one-time charge. The company now hopes Revue sales will finally pick up once Google releases the next version of its Google TV platform later this summer, which will bring access to the Android Market and other improvements. It then wants to sell more accessories to Google TV owners, which kind of sounds like what then-CEO Gerald Quindlen told me about Logitech’s original strategy when Google TV was officially unveiled a year ago.

Speaking of Quindlen: The big proponent of Google TV stepped down after the company released its earnings this week, with Logitech Chairman Guerrino De Luca stepping in as the acting CEO. Quindlen’s resignation was also prompted by disappointing revenue from Logitech’s core and European business, which resulted in a net loss of $30 million for its first quarter of fiscal 2012.

It may be too early to forecast the future of Google TV from these stumbles, as a number of major CE makers are expected to adopt the platform once the next iteration is available. However, it sure looks like Logitech bit off more than it could chew by embracing the platform early on.

Check out this interview with Quindlen during happier days:

  1. It’s not Google TV’s fault for not selling. It’s the fault of whoever came up with the idea that it should cost $300. If he was the guy with that idea, then they made a smart move by getting rid of him.

    Google TV’s need to be ARM based and cost $99, or $149 at most (if say they used a quad core Tegra 3 chip). Google should also make sure more TV’s are coming with it built-in. They also need to make some universal remote apps for Google TV’s, and give it voice control, too.

    Google is probably going to end up buying Hulu, so that alone should make Google TV’s a whole lot more popular – if the price is right.

    I’d also like them to push Google TV into becoming a game console “platform”. They’ll have gamepad support for future Google TV’s, so they just need to get developers to port their games on it, and make sure there are cutting edge ARM chips in there to support some nice 3D games.

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    1. That remote control app with voice control already exists.

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    2. To a certain point I agree with you, but this statement really sticks out, “Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly NEGATIVE during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales.” (my emphasis) Negative sales!? They received more returns than they sold. People already shelled out the money for it and decided it wasn’t for them so returned it. That is Google’s fault. If the hardware is too expensive, people won’t buy up front. But if they do buy and turn around and bring it back, there’s something wrong with the underlying experience. Unless the hardware is just faulty. I’m not sure that $99 is going to entice people keep these in their living room.
      Now maybe this all changes when the next version rolls out, but this is not a good sign.

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    3. You will absolve Google of anything, Lucian? Who chose Intel Atom? Who claimed everyone would be able to watch any Internet video for free when anyone who has dealt with broadcasters and non-TV devices knew it would require broadcaster cooperation? Who promised apps that haven’t materialized? Google, Google, Google.

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    4. GAMING expected in Next Gen Google TV in September with Android Apps store.

      Also Like TV cam

      Already on Logitech site remote control or even free for iPhone & Android

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  2. is Google Subsidizing The Revue box? the box will work with next gen Google TV in September, so why the price slash now?

    Logitech CEO said During CC, that the New Google TV is the one should be in first place

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    1. That’s a good question. I’d imagine that they’re going to do a minor hardware refresh in a couple of months and need to clear some shelf space now. Technically, the current Revue may be just fine for Google TV 2.0, but to consumers, it could still look outdated…

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  3. I see no point in buying a Google TV (or any other such device) if you own a PC with Media Center built in. I’ve been using a Media Center since it first released as a separate version of XP and currently have a system housing a Ceton InfiniTV4 card that can handle 4 HD channels at one time. These other boxes will sell but I will never have one as long as MS keeps the Media Center alive.

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  4. Its not really surprising that it hasn’t been selling, the idea is brilliant but the price is way to high. Good move by Logitech and hopefully going to shoot sales up and get Google TV off the ground.

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  5. smart TV can become bigger than tablet market. but for that you have to ensure few thing
    – keep the old tech easier to access (gaming consoles, analog and digital tv channels, dvd/cd/blu-ray player) so that people don’t feel dumb when using them
    – not as a separate box/device, make it integrated with the TV (people like pay higher price more for TV than for gadgets )
    – if possible make the TV circuit board upgradable (people don’t change TV in 4/7 years which is very long for smart TV technology)
    – provide game controller apps & api for tablet & phones so that people can use their tablets & mobile phone as game controller and play games on TV (directly compete with consoles like xbox, ps or wii)
    – hardware rendered UI (like iPhone/iPad)
    – built in PVR with memory card slots & USB for external storage
    – built-in wifi to connect PC and apps for desktop/web to sync content from desktop-pc/tablets/phones
    – massive overhaul to UI to make it more user friendly & smooth

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  6. WHEN will the price drop?

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    1. That’s what I’d like to know too.

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  7. HDMI cords are still cheaper and offer more content.

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  8. That’s what you get for having a great concept, but crap manufacturing. On everything you make. And it’s a little more than a “stumble”.

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