It is no secret that Google TV failed to hit the ground running as the notion of having to buy another box for their TVs fell on deaf ear with the general public. It is no surprise then to find out that Google TV boxes are not selling very well, just like the Apple TV (picture below). What we didn’t know is how bad the situation is for the search giant’s pet project. TIMN points at a prepared statement from Logitech, the maker of Google TV-powered Revue box, in which the company acknowledged “very modest sales” of the product in the June quarter:
Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales. We believe the significantly lower everyday price for Logitech Revue, reduced from $249 to $99, will generate improved sales.
Google on its part will update the Google TV project with Honeycomb code later this summer, adding the ability to download and run apps on your television. But despite the aggressive price cut which will cost Logitech $34 million in one-time charges and the fact that the Revue now price-matches the $99 Apple TV, ordinary consumers will still be avoiding set-top boxes in droves, regardless of a brand.
Apple on its part could tackle the market with a rumored full-blown television set with the Apple TV functionality built-in. Apple’s op-chief Tim Cook recently in a conference call with Wall Street analysts re-iterrated Apple’s stance that the Apple TV box remains “a hobby” for the company. The comment jibes with Steve Jobs’s argument from the Wall Street Journal’s D8 conference last year when he said set-top box makers like Apple and Google faced a go-to market problem, calling the television market “balkanized” (full quote and video below the fold).