Google TV Customer Returns Outpacing Sales
NEW YORK - Gadgets that use online giant Google's Google TV software have seen sluggish sales, and users don't seem impressed, with one consumer electronics partner saying that customer returns have actually outpaced sales, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The Google TV software, unveiled last year, connects TV sets to the Internet and is envisioned as a way to bring Web content and features to the TV experience. It is part of Google's attempt to become a player in the distribution of media and entertainment content.
But Logitech International, which makes a Google TV set-top box called Revue, said Revue revenue was "slightly negative" in the second quarter because more units were returned than bought.
"There was a significant gap between our price and the value perceived by the consumer," Logitech chairman Guerrino De Luca told a conference call, according to the Journal.
To provide an incentive for consumers, Logitech will further cut the Revue's price from $249 to $99 after earlier this year reducing it from $299.
De Luca said his company in part misjudged the market, but also argued that the lack of success for the Revue is also "partly due to the fact that Google TV has not yet fully delivered to its own promises."
A Google spokeswoman told the Journal that the company remains committed to Google TV. "It's still early days for smart TVs and we're investing to continue to bring innovation and progress for our partners and users," she said, adding that the company will roll out an updated version of Google TV later in the year.
Among Google TV's other challenges, TV networks have resisted cooperating with Google on it, arguing that it could undermine the value of their programming.
Sony Corp. also makes Internet-connected TV sets with Google TV.