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'Big mistake': major blow to Google TV as Logitech calls it quits

SMH | Nov. 14, 2011
Logitech chief executive Guerrino De Luca is writing off Google TV as a "big mistake" that along with other "operational miscues" in Europe, the Middle East and Africa cost the company more than $US100 million in operating profits.

Logitech has dropped out of the Google TV revolution.

Logitech chief executive Guerrino De Luca is writing off Google TV as a "big mistake" that along with other "operational miscues" in Europe, the Middle East and Africa cost the company more than $US100 million in operating profits. Logitech is stopping production on the set-top boxes.

At an event for analysts and investors, De Luca called the 2010 launch of Google TV "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature," according to The Verge.

Google launched its service to bring the web to TV screens in the United States last year and its then chief executive, Eric Schmidt, said it would debut globally this year.

De Luca said the company would bring "closure" to the "saga", which included steep price cuts to the Logitech Revue set-top boxes by letting the inventory run out this quarter.

He said there are "no plans to introduce another box to replace Revue".

Further, he predicted that the "grandchild of Google TV" might succeed but not the current product. For now, that leaves Sony televisions with the Google software for people looking for the Google TV experience.

A Logitech spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment.

It's a major blow to Google's TV aspirations. Logitech device owners will still get the updated software Google released last month. But it's an orphaned product.

"Logitech has been a good partner in the early days of Google TV, and the feedback from Revue users has been very important for the design of the new version of Google TV announced two weeks ago," a spokesman said. "We're excited about new partnerships with new chipset vendors and new hardware manufacturers which we will announce at a later date. These partnerships will help power the next generation of Google TV devices in 2012."

Not everyone has lost faith in Google TV. Google and LG Electronics, the world's second-largest television manufacturer, may take the wraps off a television using Google's software in January at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. A Google spokesman declined to comment.

But Google still has not won over the four major US broadcast networks. And that was a big problem, says analyst Rick Munarriz who, in a post on the Motley Fool, wrote that Google owes Logitech an apology.

"As the owner of a Google TV, I appreciate the software upgrade that the search giant rolled out earlier this month. It does improve the platform. The interface is more fluid. However, Google still needs to play nice with Tinseltown for this to revolutionise smart televisions. Consumers - like Logitech - feel duped, and now it seems as if it will take Apple's inevitable dive into actual HDTVs to get this right," Munarriz wrote.

 

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