Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, April 29, 2011

Google TV: Ready For Reboot

Google TV... it really is a black box.
Google TV is one of those products that has huge potential... but so far hasn't come close to achieving it. Logitech has been having a rough time selling it, as evidenced by this report: Logitech only managed to sell $5 million worth of Google TV in their last quarter. Not good, especially when they had expected to sell $18 million worth... and they had sold $22 million in the previous quarter.

The product is over-engineered and under-interfaced, from what I can tell. It's complicated and hard to use, not exactly the kind of features you want in a product for consumers. Plus, the early adopters who are the likely buyers right now no doubt heard all about Google's plan to reboot the device, which helped kill sales.

Supposedly Google TV will be getting its upgrade soon, adding in the long-awaited App Store. No word if they will actually revamp the interface so mere mortals can figure it out, but that would be nice. Look, guys, you have some unknown amount of time here to get it fixed, because sooner or later Apple is going to get tired of the Apple TV "hobby" and turn it into a real moneymaker. If any company knows how to build a slick user experience, it's Apple. If they can put some sizzle into the TV screen, they'll own the market. Google needs to get there before Apple to capture some mind share while they refine the interface.

I still expect Apple to make their move before the end of this year. I don't know if this means a new version of Apple TV, but it may have something to do with the rumored introduction of their cloud computing offerings. Most people figure those are aimed at iPhones, and they are right in the near term. But I think Apple is aiming to own the family room too, and all of these initiatives can help them with that market.

Hmmm... I wonder if Amazon will enter the set-top box market, since Android is open to all...

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