Logitech Deserves a Google Apology

With friends like Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI  ) , does Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) need enemies?

The PC accessory maker's foray into Google TV is seemingly over. Logitech's Revue -- the Google TV set-top box for folks that don't want to spring for a full-blown Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) Google TV -- is done. Logitech revealed that it simply plans to let existing inventory slowly move through the retail channels, and it won't be making any more. There is no plan to update the platform after the Revue review.

CEO Guerrino De Luca was no shrinking violet in blaming Google for what he calls "a mistake of implementation of a gigantic nature."

It didn't take a year for most of us to realize that Google was leading its hardware partners -- Intel (Nasdaq: INTC  ) with the chips, Sony with the high-def TVs, and Logitech with the stand-alone boxes -- to slaughter.

"What if Google threw a media party and nobody came," I wondered 15 months ago, arguing that Google would be in trouble with its A-list hardware partners if it couldn't strike deals with the networks to prevent them from blocking access to their streaming content.

"This amounts to merely party hats, a pretty banner, and potently spiked punch that will go unconsumed if Google can't get the major networks to RSVP to the convergence bash," I concluded.

I was right. Just two months after rolling out its Revue boxes at $300, Logitech had to mark them down to $250. A few months after that, $200 was the new price point. Logitech will sell you one for $100 now -- if you're up to adopting an orphan.

De Luca argues that executing a full launch for a platform that was essentially beta software cost the company. It's a jab at Logitech, but Google deserves it.

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 revolutionize smart televisions. Consumers -- like Logitech -- feel duped, and now it seems as if it will take Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) inevitable dive into actual HDTVs to get this right.

Google can't be right all of the time. For every Android hit, there will be a Google TV that stumbles out of the gate. However, it's hard to blame Logitech for walking away as it licks its wounds. It's hard to argue with De Luca's painful assessment.

Google owes Logitech an apology, though what would be even better is if finally takes Google TV to the next level to make Logitech regret that it ever left.

If you want to see where this story goes next, add Logitech International to My Watchlist.

The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Logitech International, Intel, and Apple. The Fool owns shares of and has bought calls on Intel. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Google, Apple, Logitech International, and Intel; creating a write covered call position in Logitech; creating a bull call spread position in Intel and Apple. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz calls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.


Read/Post Comments (5) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2011, at 11:22 AM, khaledmrd wrote:

    The Revue + Google TV 2.0 will be with nice experience

    Logitech will be back Smart TV accessories,as there core business

    other brands will introduce setup box and Smart TV sets based on Google TV

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2011, at 12:21 PM, BrianKotarski wrote:

    But a year after HTC made the G1 available, the platform still needed a lot of work, but HTC stuck with it and look at the platform now. The problem is Logitech was expecting Droid Razr level of profit and hype. It's just not there yet. They have every right to take their ball and go home, but if Logitech is wanting an apology then they need to get behind HTC, Motorola, and the other phone manufacturers who MADE Android what it is today.

  • Report this Comment On November 11, 2011, at 3:50 PM, PetePersona wrote:

    Does the Fool have proof readers?

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2011, at 3:46 AM, jbelkin wrote:

    First of all, Google could care less about anyone not Google. Buy a Nexus phone, fix it yourself - send an email we might answer it. use our free OS - never mind it might actually belong to oracle-apple or MS ... or we might buy Moto and shaft you all. Like Google Reader, we're closing it down. FO. Buy our $300 tv even though we dont actually watch TV - if Logitech can't sell our .001Beta software, FO ... that's google, the ONE TRICK pony OS company who thinks they are Apple. They are apple, but Apple 1996.

  • Report this Comment On November 13, 2011, at 8:15 PM, GnuRich wrote:

    So *you* could see the risk in advance, but Logitech management couldn't?

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