Upon launch, Google TV ambitiously aimed to combine search, television, the Internet, DVR, music, and apps. The one missing piece: users.
With more returns than “very modest sales,” Logitech, maker of the Revue box, is slashing prices, hoping to increase user adoption of the thus far flawed Google TV platform. Initially offered $299, and already reduced once to $249, the Revue device, which connects to your HDTV or cable box to run the Google TV software, has been reduced to $99 in an attempt to turn around negative sales. The price cut will cost Logitech about $34 million.
Aside from having a higher price tag than similar products (Apple TV, Boxee, Roku), Google TV has faced issues from the beginning. The major U.S. networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, as well as Hulu and Viacom) blocked early Google TV adopters access to online content, essentially making Google TV unable to live up to its billing as an all-in-one solution.
Coincidentally perhaps, it seems Best Buy has all the Sony Google HDTVs on sale today for much lower than the prices they debuted at. The 46-inch model debuted at $1,899, and today is available for just under $1,000, and the 40-inch model debuted at $1,499 and is on sale for just under $800.
Will a planned software upgrade to Android 3.1 and access to the Android Market, combined with steep price cuts, be enough to get Google TV back on track, or is Google TV doomed to fail? To be continued...