Google TV just can’t catch a break. We reported last week that Google asked a number of hardware manufacturers to delay their Google TV devices for a few months, and now there’s word that Logitech may be halting production of its Google TV-powered Revue set-top box.
Logitech reportedly asked Gigabyte, which builds the Revue boxes, to suspend shipments from December 2010 to January 2011, according to Digitimes.
The company is apparently waiting for Google to roll out some significant changes to Google TV — the same reason Google reportedly asked other companies to delay their GTV devices. A Logitech rep told CNet that it will continue shipping the Revue to customers, so it could just be that Logitech has a surplus of the devices due to poor sales and doesn’t need any more devices from its manufacturer.
It’s unknown how many Revue boxes Logitech has sold so far, or how well Google TV devices have sold overall. In addition to Logitech, Sony recently rolled out a line of TVs and a Blu-ray player with Google TV built-in.
In my write-up of the Logitech Revue, I found that Google TV had a lot of potential as a platform, even if it suffered from some growing pains. GTV’s recently released first update addressed some of its initial issues — in particular upgrading its barebones Netflix app — but the platform is still too pricey for mainstream consumers (Logitech’s Revue box retails for $300). And since Google is still having trouble getting access to web video content from TV networks, there’s little discernible advantage to choosing Google TV over simple, affordable devices like Roku’s set-top boxes.
I suspect that Google is gearing up to bring apps to GTV in its next big update. The company previously said that it intends to have an app market available on the platform in early 2011. With an app ecosystem Google TV would have a compelling feature that competitors, including the revamped Apple TV, don’t yet offer.
Update: A Logitech spokesperson says: “Logitech has not been asked by Google to suspend production of its Google TV products. As those familiar with the product know, it is not necessary for Logitech to make changes to the Logitech Revue with Google TV companion box to accommodate future enhancements to Google TV.”