Logitech backpedals on plan to sell Harmony remotes division

About-face comes with the announcement of a device that consolidates up to eight remote controls and turns iOS and Android smartphones into universal remotes.

Logitech is keeping its hands on Harmony. Sarah Tew/CNET

Logitech is hitting the back button on its plans to sell its Harmony remotes division, buoyed by renewed consumer interest in the line of universal remote controls.

In January, the electronics company announced its intention to unload the division , after recording a "disappointing" third quarter for 2012. Logitech said at the time that the product category didn't fit in with the company's new strategic focus on mobile computing, specifically tablets and smartphones.

But the Newark, Calif.-based company announced late Wednesday that it had decided that retaining ownership of the division was in the best interests of its shareholders.

"The Harmony product line has gained momentum following the April introduction of the Harmony Ultimate product, which is available in major retail locations including select Apple stores in the U.S., and has exceeded the company's expectations for customer connections," the company said in a statement.

The announcement was packaged with the unveiling of the Harmony Ultimate Hub, a device that consolidates up to eight remote controls and turns iOS and Android smartphones into universal remotes. The "appcessory" is expected to be available in August for $100.

Despite Logitech's renewed confidence, the electronics maker faces stiff competition in the sector. While Logitech remotes are among the most popular and best reviewed, there are a plethora of app and hardware makers looking to turn smartphones into universal remotes.

 

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