For owners of the Google TV-powered Logitech Revue companion box, little that came out of Logitech's first quarter earnings call can be construed as good or beneficial.
Logitech lost $30 million for the first quarter, as sales of its digital home products, including the Revue boxes, fell 53 percent, resulting in a $34 million charge.
Also, peep this stinking chestnut about the Revue from Logitech's Q1 prepared remarks: "Sales of Logitech Revue were slightly negative during the quarter, as returns of the product were higher than the very modest sales."
How else would you interpret that other than to mean consumers were bringing back Revues to Best Buy more than Logitech was selling?
Logitech now says that is the wrong interpretation, and that we essentially dropped the ball on its business model, as a spokesperson told me over the weekend:
"When Logitech's Q1 financial results were reported, we stated that returns for Logitech Revue were greater than sales. Some people thought this meant that there were more consumers returning their Logitech Revue products in Q1 than were purchasing the product. This is simply not the case. Remember that Logitech sells mostly to distributors and retailers, not consumers. Since we introduced Logitech Revue in October 2010, consumer returns for the product have averaged at levels comparable to other Logitech products."
So, what this implies is that Logitech Revue distributors and retailers such as Best Buy were sending back more Revues than they were selling, signalling more lack of general interest in the product than dislike by consumers who purchased it.
Is that better? I'm not certain, but Logitech seemed to think it important enough to merit a clarification. I'll know more later this summer after two things occur that could boost Revue sales.
First, those who eyed Google TV with interest but were cowed by the $299 price tag at launch last fall (and not wooed by the markdown to $249) will be happy to know that the boxes are selling for $99 as of July 31:
Second, Logitech and Google both confirmed the official version 2.0 of Google TV is launching this summer. As a Google TV user, I look forward to testing that Honeycomb user interface and Android Market apps on the big screen.