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Apple has done a lot to establish Apple TV as something other than a "hobby" over the past couple of years, but the latest research from Parks Associates indicates all that work hasn't been quite enough. Though Apple's diminutive entertainment box has been around for seven years now, it's slipping behind Chromecast and Roku in the U.S. in terms of recent sales and adoption rates.
The research comes from Parks Associates (via GigaOm), and it notes that Google's Chromecast established itself as one of the dominant streaming devices in 2013 since launching in the middle of last year. So far, Google has sold around 3.8 million units of the device — a figure that's roughly equal to Roku's total sales for all of 2013. As for Apple? It only sold 2 million Apple TV units last year.
The story is different overseas, however, where Apple dominates partly owing to widespread availability. With such a large net to cast, Apple has sold around 20 million total units of the device compared to Roku's 8 million sales by the end of 2013. Roku is currently only available in U.S., Canada, the U.K., and Ireland.
The main competition to worry about, of course, is Google, which already supports Chromecast in 19 countries. Oddly enough, though, Parks suggests that Chromecast users are already using their devices less often than they did half a year ago, although the per-minute usage of active device has steadily improved.
Follow this article's writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.