updated 11:15 pm EST, Thu December 23, 2010
Logitech halts Google TV shipments for January
Logitech has suddenly frozen shipments of its Revue box for over a month while waiting for a major Google TV revamp, insiders said Friday. It reportedly ordered its contractor Gigabyte to stop production from sometime in December through January either while Google fixes the software or else puts out a whole new revision. Production would resume when Honeycomb ships for Android tablets in February or March, Digitimes said, although the two aren't directly linked.
The update is most likely to the promised release adding Android Market support, although why it would halt production for up to two months without a change in hardware is unknown. Google TV supports over-the-air updates and so any shipping system could be upgraded either at the factory or by viewers. Production halts in the middle of a device's lifespan are often due to overstock, poor sales or both.
Any delay would nonetheless be a significant hindrance for Google TV, some of whose production numbers were also unearthed with the supposed leak. Logitech was due to represent half of the million Google TV device sales in 2010, or 500,000 units. A halt to production would reduce that number and would spill into 2011. Google TV has already hit unexpected delays as Google has reportedly pushed a last-minute delay for many manufacturers, again possibly related to a major firmware update. The combined effect could leave Google without a significant amount of devices in stores or even announced until the new build arrives.
Google hasn't commented on the rumor, but Sony may have given a clue that any production halt could be quality related. Although Sony has said its own Internet TV sales were up to expectations, it also admitted a poor early reaction to the sometimes limited and unpolished media software. Its main rival in the media hub space, Apple, has sold one million Apple TVs to end users and has been seeing its demand increase over the past two months, in part due to a largely positive though imperfect reception.