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Roku outpaces Apple TV in US sales growth and usage for 2013, report says

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
A report published on Wednesday claims set-top media streamers like the Apple TV will be in one out of every four homes by 2015, but market growth of Apple's device is being outpaced by sector giant Roku, at least in the U.S.




In its report, "The Evolving Market For Streaming Media Devices," market research firm Parks Associates says media streaming device sales are on the rise and will be in more than 25 percent of U.S. homes by 2015 as major tech companies like Apple, Google and Amazon fight for a spot in consumers' living rooms.

Currently leading the pack is Roku, which according to the study accounted for 46 percent of all U.S. set-top streamer sales in 2013. The company's products are also touted as the "most used" devices in the nation, as 44 percent of households that own at least one streaming device use a Roku. The Apple TV came in a distant second with a 26 percent share of both sales and usage.

As Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, emerges as a new competitor in this space, it could awaken the sleeping giant that is Apple." - Parks Associates research director Barbara KrausThe gap between the two top companies has widened since the start of 2013, when Roku usage was at 37 percent and Apple at 24 percent. Globally, however, Apple said it sold some 20 million units as of April 2014, compared to the 8 million units Roku sold by the end of 2013.

"While approximately 50 percent of U.S. households have at least one Apple product, such as an iPhone or iPad, the company has not yet been able to leverage this success for its Apple TV offering," said Barbara Kraus, research director at Parks Associates. "Apple has not committed support and promotion to its Apple TV product line in the U.S., and its sales reflect this fact. As Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, emerges as a new competitor in this space, it could awaken the sleeping giant that is Apple."

The firm also noted that stick-type streamers encroached on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and other "boxes" during 2013. For example, Google's Chromecast reportedly sold just as many units in six months as Roku moved in all of 2013. Usage of the Chromecast has been in decline, however, suggesting popularity of the stick format is ebbing.

Despite flagging interest in Chromecast, Google isn't giving up on the living room and recently announced Android TV, its third foray into the streaming market. As with the Android mobile OS, Google will focus on platform development, leaving hardware production up to OEMs. Companies like Sony, Sharp and Philips have already signed on to make Android TV-powered television sets that will debut in 2015.

Camera-equipped Apple TV concept via Brightcove.


Apple is also rumored to be working on a new Apple TV product that is expected to debut by the end of the year. Not much is known about the device, though insiders believe the company will include a motion control interface akin to Microsoft's Kinect.

Some have speculated that Apple's upcoming iOS 8 HomeKit framework for supporting smart home products could see integration with a new Apple TV. Serving as a centralized control hub for lights, thermostats and other connected appliances, Apple's set-top streamer would expand its role from content consumption device to necessary cog in a smart home's ecosystem.
post #2 of 48
Everyone is getting into streaming video. Xbone, PS4, Amazon. I don't think Wii U or OUYA can afford not to be streaming video.

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post #3 of 48
I hadn't gotten an AppleTV in the longest time because I was able to connect my iPad directly to my TV and stream video from Netflix or iTunes Store. AppleTV however makes it that much more convenient.

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post #4 of 48

Is Apple TV still a hobby for Apple, or have they officially changed their position?

post #5 of 48
I'm the only one I know that has an Apple TV. My other friends have a Roku and it works.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

I'm the only one I know that has an Apple TV. My other friends have a Roku and it works.
Does that mean you are your own friend?? And that all the others chipped together for a single Roky??

Just kidding! Geez.... 1wink.gif
post #7 of 48

The numbers look a bit suspicious, since Apple has reported sales of over 20 million units, and the US is generally at least 1/3 of its market, so that should be about 7 million units in the US, vs 8 million for Roku.  So how does Roku have such a large lead?

post #8 of 48

I'm sure there are probably better, more sophisticated set-top devices than the Apple TV, but I can't be bothered. The TV just works so seamlessly with the rest of our Apple stuff that it makes anything else seem like a hassle.

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post #9 of 48
I have an Apple TV. From what I can tell, Roku doesn't give me anything more than Apple TV does. That might be because I only pay for Netflix and nothing more. Roku does seem to offer more channels that I would have to pay for -- but ain't gonna'.

But, Apple TV does give me access to my music library, iTunes movies and good enough free channels, and the ability to display screen shots from my Macs on the TV.

I'm cheap, and have few wants (these certainly are not needs). What can I tell you?
post #10 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Everyone is getting into streaming video. Xbone, PS4, Amazon. I don't think Wii U or OUYA can afford not to be streaming video.


I have a Wii U, and it can stream through Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Youtube through official apps as well as numerous other HTML5 based websites through its webkit based browser (which can multitask while games are running). I have even setup a Plex server with a web interface on my Mac Mini to stream video primarily to devices around the house and it works just fine on Wii U (although I will admit that the Plex web interface is not as good as the native iPad app). I am not too sure about Ouya, since I do not own one, but I have heard others have been able to get Netflix to work on it by using the Play Store APK file.

post #11 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

The numbers look a bit suspicious, since Apple has reported sales of over 20 million units, and the US is generally at least 1/3 of its market, so that should be about 7 million units in the US, vs 8 million for Roku.  So how does Roku have such a large lead?

It's suspicious but not really a big deal either way. The Roku is a good device for those that aren't running other Apple products in their home, and Apple unfortunately has a few issues with the Apple TV that I can see would be annoying for the average user that does have an all Apple setup. I suspect we'll be getting a lot of changes soon enough.

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post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Is Apple TV still a hobby for Apple, or have they officially changed their position?

 

Their position has officially changed to "neglected hobby", soon to be a "forgotten hobby".

 

:(

post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some have speculated that Apple's upcoming iOS 8 HomeKit framework for supporting smart home products could see integration with a new Apple TV. Serving as a centralized control hub for lights, thermostats and other connected appliances, Apple's set-top streamer would expand its role from content consumption device to necessary cog in a smart home's ecosystem.

 

If an AppleTV is required for each TV in the house, how can it serve as a centralized hub?  

Will they be configured in some distributed master/delegate fashion?  I don't think so.  

Different lighting systems already have their own centralized control hub.

 

A separate media aggregation / access controller box may be introduced with the next AppleTV to speed up streaming from ISPs.

post #14 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by macslut View Post

Their position has officially changed to "neglected hobby", soon to be a "forgotten hobby".

1frown.gif
And yet they've done more for the Apple TV in the past year than in previous years, have gleefully announced the sales data, and have given it its own button on the Apple Store. Good luck on your hypothesis of it being canned or never being updated again like the iPod Classic.

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post #15 of 48
I've had every version of AppleTV since the beginning. It has essentially remained the same, except for a few minor tweaks. It is somewhat surprisingly frustrating and mediocre hardware offering relative to its vaunted potential and the length of time it's been around.

It's a rather long time for something to wallow in 'hobby' status. So this bit of news is not at all surprising.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Everyone is getting into streaming video. Xbone, PS4, Amazon. I don't think Wii U or OUYA can afford not to be streaming video.

I use my Wii U for both Netflix and HTML5 development. It's HTML5 web browser is artificially limited, making it pretty darn hard to make javascript games work on it. (It's not as weak as the 3DS browser, but both are too weak that they tend to die when you run a javascript benchmark or various feature tests from Cocos2d/easelJS.)

I don't watch Netflix on my windows computers because it's a nuisance to get the the streaming to work. I was previously using the Xbox 360 S until the hard drive died in it for Netflix, but had canceled Netflix before the Xbox Gold ran out at that time.

The Wii U can do Super HD, the Xbox 360 does not. The Wii U is the perfect console for using with Netflix because of the tablet controller, where as the other consoles (Xbox360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) don't come with necessary/usable input devices.)

The Roku 3 (4200) is technically a more powerful part than the Apple TV current generation. But we are talking about specifically designed SoC's, so improving the hardware in these devices is only to make them more capable or feature parity with competitors devices. No competitors, no need to update. What's AppleTV and Roku's competitors? A whole lot of other failures plus failing Android-based Google SmartTV's. So there is no winner here. Apple will inevitably update the AppleTV to the A7/A8 64bit, perhaps to enable h.265 and UHD, but I don't see a pressing need for this until there is content. Only Google has the potential to win here, and only those who have Google Fiber and UHD, I doubt there's more than a dozen people with that.
post #17 of 48
This falls into the sad and common category of "reports" that are based on editorial opinion - not serious analysis.

Do I think Apple has lagged the market potential for AppleTV? You betcha. There are a number of features where they should have provided leadership and access.

But, why listen to me? I'm the guy who kept sending emails years ago to Steve Jobs to buy DirecTV and solve lots of content problems in one shot. Now, a stodgy outfit like AT&T shuts that door...for double the price Apple could have paid in 2010.
post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The firm also noted that stick-type streamers encroached on Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and other "boxes" during 2013. For example reportedly sold just as many units in six months as Roku moved in all of 2013. Usage of the Chromecast has been in decline, however, suggesting popularity of the stick format is ebbing.

Despite flagging interest in Chromecast...

http://gigaom.com/2014/07/01/google-to-critics-actually-chromecast-usage-is-up/
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post #19 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

The numbers look a bit suspicious, since Apple has reported sales of over 20 million units, and the US is generally at least 1/3 of its market, so that should be about 7 million units in the US, vs 8 million for Roku.  So how does Roku have such a large lead?

Apple's numbers are global, whereas Roku's numbers are from only a few select countries.
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post #20 of 48
Well, the jump could be due to the XBMC group is using it to reimage the Roku for XBMC device. It's cheaper then building your own system and run's well on the Roku.

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post #21 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by HawkBlade View Post

Well, the jump could be due to the XBMC group is using it to reimage the Roku for XBMC device. It's cheaper then building your own system and run's well on the Roku.

When did that happen? As far as I know XBMC can't be installed on a Roku. People that want to use XBMC have been doing so on Android powered STBs.
Edited by dasanman69 - 7/10/14 at 5:57am
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post #22 of 48
I have two Apple TVs (gen 1 & gen 3). They work great with iTunes, but I got tired of converting all my video files to the mp4 format. I have left the ATV, and now use XBMC exclusively. I'm waiting for Apple to finally open up the ATV to more file formats, and access to files outside of iTunes. Until then, it's XBMC... Sorry Apple!
post #23 of 48
It's surprising the Apple TV does so well worldwide when the content is so US-centric. An App Store would clear that problem right up.

Roku makes a decent little box for what it is.


Now please apple, give us our new box. With metal, and the new app kit- the next iteration has me salivating. Just do it already!!!

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post #24 of 48
Roku offers Amazon Prime. That's why I bought the 3 instead of replacing my first gen atv.
post #25 of 48
I wonder if there might be a major player in the wings, not yet in the streaming game in a big way, about to buy Roku. One company that I am surpassed surprised doesn't have their own hardware is Netflix themselves, not that I was think of them at first.
Edited by digitalclips - 7/10/14 at 7:01am
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post #26 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

I wonder if there might be a major player in the wings, not yet in the streaming game in a big way, about to buy Roku. One company that I am surpassed doesn't have their own hardware is Netflix themselves, not that I was think of them at first.

It was originally funded by Netflix, and was to be branded as such, but was spun off as a independent company so that other content streaming companies would get on board. I think it's in Roku's best interest to remain privately owned, and somewhat neutral thus giving it more flexibility to strike deals with content owners/producers.
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post #27 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

It was originally funded by Netflix, and was to be branded as such, but was spun off as a independent company so that other content streaming companies would get on board. I think it's in Roku's best interest to remain privately owned, and somewhat neutral thus giving it more flexibility to strike deals with content owners/producers.

Oh ... didn't know that, thanks for that. I can see why on reflection, Nerflix wanted to be universally adopted and not compete, smart. My original thought (i.e. not Netflix) stands though, I bet some large player is thinking about it.
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post #28 of 48

Nobody (general public) knows what an Apple TV is. How would they?

Everyone I know who has bought a Roku (over an Apple TV), has bought it so they could have Netflix. Nuff said.

 

Apple doesn't want to promote their "hobby"; so be it.

post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post
 

Is Apple TV still a hobby for Apple, or have they officially changed their position?

One could believe that they've forgotten their position based on the lack of recent product updates.

post #30 of 48

I think one reason people choose Roku instead of Apple TV is the bad impression Apple left in the Wintel era.  What is it?  I think it is the impression is Apple is not compatible to Windows.  And the impression is Windows is the PC.  Macs are just toys. With this impression buyers are afraid Apple TV will be incompatible too.  But this may actually be a fact.  

post #31 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Oh ... didn't know that, thanks for that. I can see why on reflection, Nerflix wanted to be universally adopted and not compete, smart. My original thought (i.e. not Netflix) stands though, I bet some large player is thinking about it.

I wouldn't be surprised if they've already gotten offers. One has to be impressed that such a little known company , and without a marketing blitz ala Samsung has done so well against a giant like Apple.
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post #32 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misa View Post


I use my Wii U for both Netflix and HTML5 development. It's HTML5 web browser is artificially limited, making it pretty darn hard to make javascript games work on it. (It's not as weak as the 3DS browser, but both are too weak that they tend to die when you run a javascript benchmark or various feature tests from Cocos2d/easelJS.)

I don't watch Netflix on my windows computers because it's a nuisance to get the the streaming to work. I was previously using the Xbox 360 S until the hard drive died in it for Netflix, but had canceled Netflix before the Xbox Gold ran out at that time.

The Wii U can do Super HD, the Xbox 360 does not. The Wii U is the perfect console for using with Netflix because of the tablet controller, where as the other consoles (Xbox360, Xbox One, PS3 and PS4) don't come with necessary/usable input devices.)

The Roku 3 (4200) is technically a more powerful part than the Apple TV current generation. But we are talking about specifically designed SoC's, so improving the hardware in these devices is only to make them more capable or feature parity with competitors devices. No competitors, no need to update. What's AppleTV and Roku's competitors? A whole lot of other failures plus failing Android-based Google SmartTV's. So there is no winner here. Apple will inevitably update the AppleTV to the A7/A8 64bit, perhaps to enable h.265 and UHD, but I don't see a pressing need for this until there is content. Only Google has the potential to win here, and only those who have Google Fiber and UHD, I doubt there's more than a dozen people with that.

 

I find the Wii U's TVii functionality a nice complement to the Apple TV.  I've never had cable, but need broadcast TV from time to time.  TVii has my local schedule and I do mark a few shows as favorites.

 

I've never used the Sports functionality of TVii though I'm looking forward to it this coming NFL season.

post #33 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post

Now please apple, give us our new box. With metal, and the new app kit- the next iteration has me salivating. Just do it already!!!

 

Hey, no jumping the queue! No new TV before we get a new mini! There hasn't been a new mini since October 2012, whereas the Apple TV was updated in... hm, March 2012...

 

Okay, so maybe both at the same time then? :)

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post #34 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSchlob View Post
 

Nobody (general public) knows what an Apple TV is. How would they?

Everyone I know who has bought a Roku (over an Apple TV), has bought it so they could have Netflix. Nuff said.

 

Yet my Dad, who I have been completely unable to persuade over to the Apple way of doing things, has an Apple TV. Surprised, I asked him why he bought it. Netflix. Go figure.

 

I wonder if he can stream movies to it from his Dell via iTunes?

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post #35 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post

Yet my Dad, who I have been completely unable to persuade over to the Apple way of doing things, has an Apple TV. Surprised, I asked him why he bought it. Netflix. Go figure.

I wonder if he can stream movies to it from his Dell via iTunes?

He can with Plex.
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post #36 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

I think one reason people choose Roku instead of Apple TV is the bad impression Apple left in the Wintel era.  What is it?  I think it is the impression is Apple is not compatible to Windows.  And the impression is Windows is the PC.  Macs are just toys. With this impression buyers are afraid Apple TV will be incompatible too.  But this may actually be a fact.  

I am familiar with this meme, yes. A lot of people I know are "PC guys" who have never touched an Apple product, and regard them closed platform, without even doing any basic research. For example, A coworker once expressed surprise when I told him iPods were capable of playing un-DRM'd MP3 files. He said he thought iPods were locked in to "Apple's proprietary format." He didn't know anything about that format; he thought it was QuickTime. His opinion of Apple was obviously dated from the 90s. People older than 40, who grew up in the Microsoft era dominate this demographic. This bias is far less common in millennials, who view Apple as cool.

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post #37 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Some have speculated that Apple's upcoming iOS 8 HomeKit framework for supporting smart home products could see integration with a new Apple TV. Serving as a centralized control hub for lights, thermostats and other connected appliances, Apple's set-top streamer would expand its role from content consumption device to necessary cog in a smart home's ecosystem.

If an AppleTV is required for each TV in the house, how can it serve as a centralized hub?
 
An AppleTV is not required for every TV in the house.

Quote:
Will they be configured in some distributed master/delegate fashion?  I don't think so.

If there are Multiple AppleTVs, they could each act as a HomeKit controller or act as a relay to the accessories..

Quote:
Different lighting systems already have their own centralized control hub.
 
Some do, and some don't. Regardless, there are many other accessories that don't have bridges. In addition, bridged accessories can be accessed directly (bypassing the bridge) or through the bridge.

Quote:
A separate media aggregation / access controller box may be introduced with the next AppleTV to speed up streaming from ISPs.

In Apple's HomeKit preso they say that all the HomeKit accessories can be controlled by an iPhone (or other iDevice) as a remote control.

They also claim that you can control your home(s) accessories from an offsite location using an iDevice via "Apple Connectivity".

"Apple Connectivity" to what? To your IP router? To your individual accessories?

Is the command to, say, "unlock the front door" sent in the clear so any sniffer can intercept it? If not, what decodes the command, relays it to the accessory, verifies the success/failure and returns confirmation to the user.

Something in the home needs to act as the HomeKit Controller.

Some have suggested that the Airport Extreme Router should be enhanced to do the job of HomeKit Controller. The problems with that is the Airport Extreme has limited RAM and flash storage, costs $199 and does not run iOS (it doesn't even have enough storage to contain iOS).

The 3rd Generation AppleTV costs $99 and already runs iOS. It could easily take on the additional job of HomeKit controller.

A newer AppleTV with an A7 APU, more RAM and flash, could do all that, handle the aggregation/streaming you mentioned -- and provide console-quality gaming.


IMO, the new AppleTV will be very, very big!
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post #38 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lorin Schultz View Post
 

 

Hey, no jumping the queue! No new TV before we get a new mini! There hasn't been a new mini since October 2012, whereas the Apple TV was updated in... hm, March 2012...

 

Okay, so maybe both at the same time then? :)

Maybe the new mini will be the size of the Apple TV.  "It took us a while, but it's 30% thinner and weighs 280% less"  :lol: 

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post #39 of 48
I'm apparently a holdout. My streaming devices are a Wii, Xbox360, and the TV built-in.
post #40 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by tzeshan View Post

I think one reason people choose Roku instead of Apple TV is the bad impression Apple left in the Wintel era.  What is it?  I think it is the impression is Apple is not compatible to Windows.  And the impression is Windows is the PC.  Macs are just toys. With this impression buyers are afraid Apple TV will be incompatible too.  But this may actually be a fact.  

We're a totally Mac family. Two and a half years ago we got a single Roku and it handles our needs fine. It just seemed a safer bet at the time and I think we're the kind of family which are many but not mentioned much in these kinds of discussions in that we have one 24" TV monitor and our watching habits are modest but we do like what we watch and have no desire to have bigger, more, higher res than we have. Nobody watches sports or current seriesand although it's being watched every Friday and Saturday night those are the only times it's on.

Apple missed us by not seeming a better way to go at the time, regardless of the coming changes, as it just didn't make any difference to me. As long as it did what I wanted it to do I had no care about anything beyond that, and the Roku's been working like a champ. I'm closer socially to more families like us than not, in NYC/Brooklyn, and when I'm over their places It seems definately to be far more Roku than the rest. And I can comfirm that Apple hasn't done any kind of job marketing to Windows families, as I hear first hand all the time that they didn't even consider Apple TV as an available option. If Apple can't sell Apple TVs to people like me and people like them all they have left to sing to are the well informed moderately heavy and up media watching households who are already in the choir, which isn't enough.
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