Logitech is abandoning Google TV. But the electronics maker is doing more than discontinuing the Revue set top box, which runs the Google TV software. The company is making some startling admissions about its decision to partner with the search engine giant.
News reports are circulating around comments Logitech chairman and acting CEO Guerrino De Luca uttered at the company's Analyst and Investor Day on Wednesday.
De Luca, for example, reportedly said the Revue was a "mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature." He blamed Google, in part. De Luca said his firm "executed a full scale launch with a beta product and it cost us dearly."
"The Revue got terrible reviews, and for good reason -- relying on a wireless keyboard and clunky interface, the device offered a totally unpleasant user experience," De Luca told analysts and investors, according to The Verge. "Google is working on improving the technology. It has a ways to go."
Revue's Mixed Reviews
Logitech did get some positive spin. Wired magazine editors actually picked Logitech's Revue over Apple TV, Western Digital TV Live Hub Media Center and Seagate's GoFlex TV HD. The Revue sold for $99. But consumers weren't as always as kind.
"The Logitech Review is an after thought of Apple TV as it seems everything else is these days as well. Where Apple does a great job with the small remote that does so much, Logitech gives you a computer keyboard as if WEB TV was making a strong come back," a reviewer called Offshore48 wrote on Logitech's web site on Nov. 4.
"It works, it's not great, navigation is a hazard to you, and you have a huge keyboard that is larger than the largest remote they make. Obviously somebody thought this was a great idea and as of now the Logitech Revue is sitting idle on a shelf awaiting a less fortunate soul!"
Does Google Need Focus?
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at The Enderle Group, said Google just about put Logitech out of business and got its last CEO fired. In July, then-Logitech CEO Gerald Quindlen stepped down as the company's president and chief and resigned from the Board of Directors. De Luca, who had previously held the role from 1998 to 2008, stepped back onto the scene.
"Google has become one of the most problematic partners in the industry. Their lack of intellectual property protection has made the vast majority of its Android partners litigation targets," Enderle said. "The issue with Google TV and Logitech was a huge catastrophe for Logitech."
As Enderle sees it, the problem with the Revue was that Google didn't finish Google TV. Google, he said, shifted a significant percentage of the product and risk burden to its partners, which weren't equipped to absorb the risk.
"Steve Jobs said it best when he was talking to Larry Page. The problem is a lack of focus," Enderle said. "As a result their quality is appalling so they are putting everyone that trusts them at risk. If Google doesn't learn to focus they really won't survive. People will start avoiding them like the plague."