Losses force Logitech to drop Google TV

Logitech’s Revue set-top box for Google TV was a ‘big mistake’, according to Guerrino De Luca, chairman and acting chief executive of Logitech.

During an analysts and investors meeting in New York, he said the company has pulled the plug on Google TV set-top boxes, saying consumers just aren’t ready for the device which merges television and the internet.

“Google TV or the child of Google TV or the grandchild of Google TV will happen. The integration of television and the internet is inevitable, but the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided.”

Although Google TV has the potential to completely disrupt the living room, Logitech has decided to pull out after losing well over $100 million in operating profit (the $100 mmillion is not attributed to just Revue – it also includes the EMEA region). Last year, the set-top went on sale in the US with a $300 price tag, the price later dropped to $99 due to disappointing sales.

Google will continue to support the Revue set-tops and still receive the Google TV 2.0 Honeycomb 3.1 upgrade that is currently rolling out to users of Sony Google TV systems.

In a related development, Bloomberg reports that “people familiar with the situation” said Korean manufacturer LG will present Google Tv sets at this winter’s CES 2012 in Las Vegas.

Broadband TV Views. Last year, Google TV was definitely not ready for prime time. With Google TV 2.0 it remains to be seen of the improvements are sufficient to enter the mass market it needs in order to succeed.

Google TV needs compelling content in order to succeed and easy to use services such as Netflix, Hulu, Lovefilm or similar European VOD and catch-up TV portals. The beefed-up YouTube is nice, but definitely not enough.

With the $300 price tag, Logitech was definitely too expensive. It faced some formidable competitors – who are also still trying to find the right business model.

Apple TV sells at $99 and is a much more developed product with easy access to the iTiunes store. Then there are the Amazon boxes, the Rokus and the Boxees.

When will connected TVs really be ready for primetime? When all pieces of the puzzle will fit together – ease of use, lots of content and a big pipe to the internet.