Apple TV Glee

Apple’s $99 Apple TV box is reportedly losing ground to rivals in the media streaming space, according to a new study by market research firm Parks Associates shared by CNET.

At a time when as much as ten percent of U.S. households with a broadband connection have bought a media-streaming device in the first nine months of this year, Apple’s market share went down to seventeen percent.

As a result of increased competition, the Apple TV fell down to the number three slot, with Roku and Google’s Chromecast holding the #1 and #2 slot, respectively.

Based on Parks Associates data, Roku was able to secure 29 percent of sales in the first nine months while Google’s inexpensive $35 HDMI dongle (the Apple TV costs $99) came in second with a twenty percent share and stealing Apple TV’s previous slot.

As for Amazon’s Fire TV media-streamer and the newly-introduced Fire TV Stick, the two devices together accounted for a combined ten percent share. First introduced in March 2012 and then slightly revised on January 28 of last year, the Apple TV is way overdue for refresh.

Parks Associates chart (Streaming Media Devices, January-September 2014)

Although Apple’s been adding new content sources to the device on a regular basis, the latest examples being new channels such as CBS News, Hallmark Card’s Feeln, A&E’s FYI, FXNOW and many more, the hardware and software saw little action in terms of functionality over the past three years.

Rumors have suggested that a next-generation Apple TV may include a powerful processor. Combined with a built-in App Store, the rumored device would allow for downloadable games and apps to be executed and played directly on it, as opposed to AirPlaying content from an iOS device.

I’m not so convinced that a new Apple TV is around the corner.

Apple’s repeatedly insisted that the Apple TV is just a hobby and I don’t think they’ll waste resources to refresh the hardware just for the heck of it.

In fact, I don’t think we’ll see a new Apple TV revision until Tim Cook & Co. finish transitioning Apple’s entire desktop lineup to Retina-class 4K screens, a process which has started with MacBooks and now continues with the new iMac with 5K Retina display.

Only then will Apple upgrade iTunes movies to 4K resolution and only then will a major revamp of the Apple TV with full 4K support make sense.

Here’s something to chew on: “Nearly 50 percent of video content that U.S. consumers watch on a TV set is non-linear, up from 38 percent in 2010, and it is already the majority for people 18-44,” Barbara Kraus, director of research at Parks Associates, said in a statement.

The research firm projected 50 million sales of streaming media players by 2017. To be perfectly fair, Apple is the only top player in the market without a stick product in the streaming media device category. As a result, would-be shoppers are not incentivized at all to opt for Apple’s pricier $99 device when plenty affordable alternatives exist.

What do you use your Apple TV for these days?

[Parks Associates via CNET]

  • iBanks

    Not surprising considering there’s no advertisements of it and still many people unaware of it.

    • Antzboogie

      Well it would be if you could Jailbreak and Mirror Android devices as well. Chromecast is so much cheaper and honestly does so much more it’s an amazing product. It streams anything and even Showbox. I’m an Apple Smartphone person but when it comes to Streaming devices and such Chromecast blows everyone out the water.

      • iBanks

        It would be what? More noticed and aware of? I don’t think that would be the case just because of an ability to jailbreak/stream android devices. It will still need some sort of exposure, some sort of commercial ya know. It’s doing really well without such coverage, but with it, it could do even better. I love streaming Moviebox to my ATV.

      • Antzboogie

        The price as well is a bit extreme considering it’s not open source and we can’t push it to its full potential.

      • BoardDWorld

        I might consider it as an addition to my ATV if I could set a VPN in Chromecast. With Air Play and an all Apple environment I’m otherwise very happy.

  • JoshuaHulgan

    “Apple’s repeatedly insisted that the Apple TV is just a hobby…”
    Tim Cook has stated he no longer considers the Apple TV a hobby earlier this year.
    The Apple TV very much needs an update and I’m willing to bet a big one is coming this year to make it compete.

    • QP

      A well done air play streaming for my iphone or ipad would be enough, tho they wrote last code with something else than hands.

    • Guess I got close – instead they just kept version 3 around as the cheap one.

  • Vince Reedy

    When I can find the remotes, I use mine to stream my fairly large iTunes video library and for XBMC and Netflix. I have 1 2nd gen and 1 3rd gen. Pretty much the only uses. AirPlay not so much.

  • Robert Williams

    Perhaps Apple should update the thing and give it something compelling and different. Apple TV is extremely stale right now.

  • Chris Buck

    Will have the Amazon Fire Stick today in the mail. Will see how well it works.

    • Nick Jones

      Got mine Nov 21 and i love it. Only wish i had bought more for $20. Replaced My Chromecast and gave that to my sister. The ability to install plex app on the stick, and how well it works is amazing

  • Keith S

    Chromecast all the way. You can’t beat a $25 price tag.

  • What is sad is that Apple could update the current generation product and make it great. But they’ll just turn out another version of it next year when they announce the iWatch to get more cash. They’ll say a new processor or whatever is needed for apps to run on the device, which to me doesn’t make sense because they could have had an app store on the current generation as soon as it was original released. A brand new user interface is very much needed. The current interface is extremely boring, looks awful and is very confusing to find anything in. Searching takes forever unless you use your smart phone to connect to it. So a microphone on the remote should be included, which again they could just sell a new remote with some features and say buy this for 39.99.. to get new features on your previous appletv purchase but you know apple won’t do anything like that.

  • Scott

    I have a 2nd gen Apple TV, but I’m looking at adding an Amazon stick for the simple reason that I can’t watch Amazon Prime…other than that I and the family love the thing.

  • Dan

    Not surprised, there are so many alternatives and they pretty much all do it better than Apple Tv. I’m currently using an Ouya running the current version of XBMC, streaming over 7 TB of data from my PC, multitudes of video format. Why be tied to iTunes?

  • Fanboy 

    The one thing I wouldn’t waste my money on. Until they released an updated redesigned version finally.

  • pauleebe

    1.) Old hardware without any recent updates.
    2.) No channel/software advantages over other devices, except Airplay.
    3.) Airplay or even general playback has been buggy (for me at least) lately.

  • Jason B

    Maybe I’m old school, but I like free TV, okay, commercial subsidized TV, I should say. Apple needs to bring a box that records OTA broadcasts, and I’d buy one immediately. Ever since Google bought SageTV a few years ago, I’ve been really nervous about the direction my DVR situation could turn, especially since I have a lot of already pre-recorded, and existing favorites setup in SageTV. I dropped cable because 95% of what I watch is broadcast OTA. Why should I pay $0.99 an episode, or for seasons, when I wouldn’t mind the commercial subsidized, free TV?

  • Alberto Espinal

    I would agree with Roku, but Chromecast? I bought one of those and I sold it the next day

  • iPodDroid

    Chromecast is my streaming device if I had to pick, not only does it offer similar features that the Apple TV currently has (Maybe even more), but the Price is where it’s all at.

  • n0ahcruz3

    I use chromecast, its cheap and its ok for all my streaming needs.

    Ps. If i buy a 99$ set topbox i’ll go PS tv

  • Blip dude

    Just Ordered a 40″ TCL Roku TV and really looking forward to it. Got an Apple TV for the non Ultraviolet movies but honestly, besides the iTunes movies, it sees much less use and more dust than the Roku 3 I currently have (soon to be replaced).

  • G.Dash

    there is nothing like the GBOX Midnight MX2 ever since i bought my gbox i haven’t turned on my apple tv. gbox is the best

  • Eikast

    I love my apple tv (AirPlay FTW) , but that’s pretty much the only reason why I love it. Otherwise a Roku would be better.

  • gittlopctbi

    I use my ATV for Netflix, YouTube, and sometimes AirPlay. I enjoy having my photostream as the screen saver.

    HOWEVER, I got my Apple TV for free as I had enough reward bucks to take advantage of a Best Buy sale promo. If I hadn’t had the deal, I would have thought twice about getting it as it is an expensive offering. I do enjoy the AirPlay and I use it to watch videos on apps on my iPhone that are not mainstream enough to be an app on ATV.