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Can Logitech Save Google TV?

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Google (Nasdaq: GOOG  ) is having a heck of a time persuading us to invest in its Google TV set-top boxes and digital TVs.

Mild price drops from Sony (NYSE: SNE  ) and Logitech (Nasdaq: LOGI  ) haven't been enough to spur Google TV sales, while arch-rival Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) continues on a path where Apple TV moves out of the "hobby" category and the originally Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX  ) -only Roku box is selling by the millions.

At long last, Logitech has decided to drop the Revue below the magical $100 price point. Why? Because it just wasn't selling.

In fact, Logitech just reported negative revenue on that product in the latest quarter, because consumers are returning Revues faster than they're buying 'em. In the words of Logitech Chairman Guerrino de Luca, "There was a significant gap between our price and the value perceived by the consumer."

No kidding. I could have told you so. In fact, that's exactly what I've been doing for a while.

Will the $99 price tag give Logitech's media hub a new lease on life, or would that ugly remote need a complete redesign first? Come to think of it, the whole package is getting long in the tooth by the standards of modern gadgetry. You have to wonder whether this price cut is to give the product one last shot at life, or just clear out inventory at fire sale prices. A complete overhaul selling for the new prices or less would be a welcome move if Google and friends want to have a chance in the home-infotainment market.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares of Google and Netflix but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. The Motley Fool owns shares of Google, Apple, and Logitech International. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Logitech International, Apple, Netflix, and Google, creating a bull call spread position in Apple and a write covered call position in Logitech International, and buying puts in Netflix. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fool don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio, follow him on Twitter or Google+, or peruse our Foolish disclosure policy.

Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (7)

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 July 31, 2011, at 12:36 PM, khaledmrd wrote:

    New Gen Google TV is a new Ball Game.

    Logitech's Google Strategy is not just The Revue Box but about Smart TV accessories for The Google TV Platform expected from Major TV Brands

    Accessories already available HD TV cams, Wireless Keyboard/pads, Remotes.

    More i expect in gaming accessories & input/output devices with the New Google TV in September as Android Store, High Resolution, Gaming & Full Chrome Browser , Flash?

    Also Logitech-Google TV Video Calling compliment Logitech-Lifesize Ubiquitous Unified Communication Strategy for Meeting Room, Living Room, PC, Tablets and Smartphones, Healthcare, Industries and Government

    Remember Google+ Hangout which i believe could be accessed from next Google TV browser

    Also Compliment Logitech's Digital Home initiative

  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2011, at 12:58 PM, H3D wrote:

    If the double sales, will that make them twice as negative?

    Surely the best thing they can do is to vastly increase the price in the hope that sales club to zero, where they should be able to break even.

    Even, the wonderful MicroSoft Kin didn't manage negative sales.

  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2011, at 1:00 PM, H3D wrote:

    Sorry, pressed send by accident, and no edit facility.

    If they double sales, will that make them twice as negative?

    Surely the best thing they can do is to vastly increase the price in the hope that sales climb to zero, where they should be able to break even.

    Even, the wonderful MicroSoft Kin didn't manage negative sales.

  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2011, at 1:16 PM, jacobandersen72 wrote:

    I like the google tv product. people should give it a try before complaining. i dont think the content is ready yet. but it is coming. logitech is simply a bit early. it will catch on.

    we all want the net on our tvs and roku is not google tv.

    google tv is a step above. wait till the next version comes out. google is going to keep on trying till they win.

  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2011, at 2:04 PM, TMFZahrim wrote:

    One note missed in the original story: those high returns are from retailers and distributors, not from end-users. So it's not returns from people hating the product, but from middle-men unable to sell 'em at $260 a pop.


  • Report this Comment On July 31, 2011, at 6:52 PM, khaledmrd wrote:

    Also Logitech clarified Today in a PR that the Revue returns comments was misunderstood and as normal, and already on top Amazon seller list

  • Report this Comment On August 01, 2011, at 10:35 AM, imsodopey wrote:

    great product.. full internet capability, video chat, access to video content from amazon, etc. Better than appletv, etc by a mile. and i own apple.

  • Report this Comment On August 01, 2011, at 5:10 PM, nuijel wrote:

    The problem with online TV is not the technology, it is the content. There is plenty of companies offering online TV. The problem is that they offer only lousy, never heard of, channels. And I don't see why cable operators, charging $100 a month to subscribers, would agree to any kind of change.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2011, at 8:58 AM, beadnell wrote:

    Google will just keep trying until it makes TV work. The more Roku boxes sell, the bigger the market for everyone.

  • Report this Comment On August 04, 2011, at 9:01 AM, beadnell wrote:

    ... and the day will come soon when you can punch a button on your Android phone and watch your favorite PPV or subscription channel on any nearby large screen, or even project it onto a wall. Moving graffiti!

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