The Logitech Revue, one of a trio of currently available Google TV products from Logitech and Sony, has drawn mixed reviews in early sales. Some have enjoyed Google’s Android internet TV fixings, but others have criticized rough edges in the interface and lack of utility. One of major sources of criticism is Google TV’s inability to access the Android Marketplace. Critics say that without apps, the box is just another internet-connected video streamer like Roku or AppleTV, with the only new feature being the inclusion of a search engine.
Google apparently is taking these criticism to heart and, according to reports, recently told its television partners (except for Samsung) to hold off on announcing their Google TV products while it fixes the OS. Now Logitech has temporarily suspended shipments of the Revue, according to sources speaking with Digitimes.
The sources cited say Logitech had originally predicted shipments of 500,000 units by the end of 2010, but is now forced to wait for Google to upgrade the Android distribution that its box relies on. Logitech has told Gigabyte, who it contracts to assemble the device’s hardware, to cease production.
The report follows recent comments by Sony TV chief Hiroshi Yoshioka, in which the Sony executive indicated that while sales of the company’s Google TV products (Google TV-equipped televisions and a Google TV Blu-Ray player) were meeting expectations, the product quality was not. He stated that it would “take a little longer for users to really start having fun”, presumably referring to the much anticipated January-February update from Google.
Even if Google can deliver apps to Google TV and convince its various hardware partners to stick with it, the platform already has been dealt a serious blow by the television networks. Numerous networks have joined together in blocking Google TV from accessing their online video offerings, despite the Google TV software have the requisite Flash player. It is possible that Google could try to tweak its browser to circumvent these restrictions, but if it’s planning that, it’s keeping its hand close to its chest.
Even if the Logitech production halt proves true, buyers will likely still be able to purchase units well into January, as retailers likely have some stock on hand. No formal sales halts have been announced at this point.
The only announced upcoming Google TV product launch at this point is the revamped Samsung SmartTV line, which is expected to be introduced in January.