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Logitech (s LOGI) told investors this week that it is preparing to slash the price of its Revue Google (s GOOG) 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: