Logitech released their Q03 2012 financial results [PDF] earlier this week and the news was mixed, at best. A section that caught my eye dealt with the company’s webcam business.
Sales are down here by 25% and embedded webcams are to blame. Almost every laptop and all-in-one comes with a webcam above the display. Though they’re usually low quality and low megapixel models, they’re apparently good enough for most people.
Logitech’s report readily admit this. They plan to raise sales by offering webcams that offer more than what you can get with most embedded models, such as 1080p video chat over Skype.
Still, I question whether this move will raise sales much. If embedded webcams are good enough for most people, why do they need 1080p video chat? HD video chatting is nice, but unless it’s an absolute necessity to see your dim living room rendered pixel-perfect, I don’t see why most people would bother.
The segment of the consumer market that needs or wants an HD webcam must be small. Even those who are very serious about video chatting or getting the best reaction video up on YouTube aren’t the majority. The larger portion of that market is in business/enterprise. Perhaps where Logitech’s energy should go.
Another aspect to consider is that HD video streaming takes up far more bandwidth than smaller, lower quality streams and taxes system resources more. Users with slower connections or older computers can’t take advantage, anyway.
Other than creating even higher definition webcams, what could Logitech do to get you to buy an external webcam?