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Logitech Kills Google TV-Based Set-Top

LG Reportedly Developing a Google TV Set to Launch at CES 11/11/2011 11:53 AM Eastern

Logitech chairman and acting CEO Guerrino De Luca said the company made a "big mistake" in introducing the $300 Internet-connected Revue set-top based on the Google TV platform, with the platform plagued by software "that was not complete."

The Google TV-based Revue box cost Logitech more than $100 million in operating profit, according to De Luca.

The company, which was forced to slash the price of the Revue to $99 after poor sales, has no plans to build another Google TV box, De Luca said. Logitech launched the set-top a year ago and had a distribution deal with Dish Network to offer Revue at a discount to satellite TV subscribers.

Logitech Revue"Google TV or a child of Google TV or the grandchild of Google TV will happen. The integration of television in Internet is inevitable," De Luca said during the company's analyst day presentation Wednesday in New York. "But the idea that it would happen overnight in Christmas 2010 was very misguided, and that also cost us dearly."

He continued, "We expected everybody to line up for Christmas and buy these boxes $300 -- that was a big mistake... It's always the case people will tend to overestimate the short-term and underestimate the long-term."

Switzerland-based Logitech is a manufacturer of wireless keyboards, mice, webcams, speakers and other PC accessories.

Separately, LG Electronics may be prepping a Google TV-based HDTV to launch at the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show, Bloomberg reported Friday. Sony Electronics is currently the only other hardware manufacturing partner for Google TV.

Google has acknowledged that the initial version of the TV software, designed to provide Web content and applications complementing traditional TV, wasn't perfect. This month the company is releasing version 2.0 of Google TV, which it said simplifies the user interface and will make it easier for developers to publish apps for the TV.

"Google TV has the potential to completely disrupt living room -- except that was not the case when we launched Logitech Revue," De Luca said.

It was "never our strategy to make money out of set-top boxes for Google TV," he said. "Our choice to build one was a choice driven by the willingness to accelerate the adoption of the platform and to be part of the first wave of people that could influence its development."

Continued De Luca, "We are willing to engage aggressively in making that platform richer once it's there, but for now we have done what's needed to do... and we better seek growth" in other categories.

De Luca stepped in as acting CEO following the resignation in July of Gerald Quindlen after Logitech posted a bigger-than-expected second-quarter 2011 loss and cut its full-year revenue and earnings forecast.

Google is in the process of acquiring Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion in cash. Google expects the deal to close by April 2012.

September