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No sequel to the failed "Revue" is in the works

The Logitech International S.A. (SIX:LOGN) promised investors big things from its partnership with Google Inc. (GOOG).  But the actual sales of Logitech's solution, a settop box dubbed Revue, were a massive sales failure, the likes of which brings to mind Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) failed Kin experiment.

Poor earnings led the last CEO to get canned.  His successor, Guerrino De Luca, is eager to bury a key part of that earnings failure -- the Revue.  He argued that while Google TV (and Revue) is "a great concept" and that its success is one day "inevitable", that now is not the time for a sequel.

He complained that the original device "cost the company dearly" particularly when the software (the Google TV distribution of Android) was "unfinished.  He explains:

The second mistake we made is Logitech Revue and it’s not a mistake of intention, it’s not a mistake of strategy, it’s a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature. You are all familiar with Logitech Revue with the set top box that enables Google TV and every HDMI television. Google TV is a great concept, Google TV has the potential to completely disrupt living room, except that was not the case when we launched Logitech Revue. Logitech Revue was launched with some, I wouldn’t call it beta properly but a software that was not complete and not tuned to what the consumers want at the living room let alone all the issues with content delivery that the threat of the proceeds threat that Google posed us to other content providers generated.

Again the main issues (if not explicitly stated by Mr. Luca) were:
1. Google TV lacked third party apps.
2. TV programming providers conspired [1][2][3] to ensure Google TV didn't have the access to their web uploads that the PC had.

The net result of those issues, was that Logitech spent $300M USD in advertising on a product that only sold 15,000 units (for a grand total of $4.5M USD in revenue) during Q1 2011.  And to make matters even worse, all those pricey ads on the failed product were canned as "creepy" (See for yourself:)



The Revue will continue to sell, for now, at a reduced price $99 USD, but production has reportedly been halted.  Further, Logitech has no plans for a successor, once it liquidates it stock of Revues.  That's a pretty dismal end to a product Logitech expected to move 500,000 units in 2010.

Logitech Revue

Logitech blames the Revue and other troubled products for $100M USD in lost profit.

The company's decision to bail on Google TV is a blow to the fledgling effort.  However, it remains to be seen exactly how catastrophic a blow it is, given that part of the Revue's problem is that having one more set-top box just isn't a very popular option with most consumers versus a solution embedded in the TV, like Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) Google TV implementation.

Sources: Seeking Alpha [1], [2], Engadget





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