Apple has long described its Apple TV as a “hobby.” And with sales of the set-top box not reaching anywhere near the numbers of Apple’s other iOS devices, that makes perfect sense.

But even though Apple treats it like a side project, the Apple TV has done fairly well. A new report suggests that Apple’s media hub has captured nearly a third of the market.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics announced the results of its research report regarding “connected TV players” today. The research included several set top boxes including the Apple TV and the Roku Box, and the findings are pretty interesting.

“Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby’. ” says Jia Wu, Senior Analyst at the Connected Home Devices (CHD) service. “As Apple prepares for its expected launch of smart TVs in 2012, rival platforms must accelerate their development plans to keep Apple from running away with the connected TV business, as it has done in smartphones and digital music.”

Apple is expected to sell over 4 million Apple TVs by the end of 2011, garnering 32% of the connected TV player market. Also, keep in mind that the next-generation Apple TV is rumored to be nearing completion, with features like a dual-core processor and Bluetooth support.

Not bad for a “hobby.”

[MacRumors]

  • Add a JB and/or Firecore and you’ll never leave your living room!

  • I’ve put of from buying one ..because of the tv set that might just be happening ..but I’am still very tempted …who know’s it’s Christmas soon…hohoho…MERRY CHRISTMAS ..or is it to early to say that ?

    • Anonymous

      You’ll probably be waiting a while yet for an integrated iTV, however if you can hold off a bit longer, it’s widely believed that Apple will introduce a 3rd AppleTV box soon, using the A5 chip from the iPad2/iPhone4S. Not only will it obviously be faster (and probably pave the way for gaming and iOS apps on the big screen) but it will almost certainly increase the resolution support from 720p up to 1080p. Definitely worth holding off a bit for that if you’re in no hurry to buy, and have a 1080p HDTV.

      I kind of bought my ATV2 as a hobby, and I’m proud to save I’ve not once paid the exhorbitant rental prices Apple has the cheek to charge for films in Australia ($7AU for a 720p rental!). Instead I have jailbroken it and put the excellent XBMC software on it, turning a $100 box into a fully capable media streamer that supports plugins and every video format available. Plus I get the usual official benefits of AirPlay video and audio (no AirPlay mirroring though, until I can upgrade the box to iOS5 without killing off my jailbreak and XBMC setup).

      Given everything it can do, it’s been such an awesome buy! They are so painless to setup and if you have multiple iDevices it’s a must to be able stream from any iDevice to the TV.