Apple TV holds just 2% of streaming device market, report says

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Apple holds just 2% of the global streaming device market, according to new data that analyzes the smart TV and set-top box industry.

Credit: Apple
Credit: Apple


The only streaming device that Apple markets is the Apple TV set-top box. Although Apple has routinely updated the device, it has never hit mainstream success compared to rivals.

That's reflected in streaming industry data published Wednesday by Strategy Analytics. The numbers show TV manufacturers hold the top position, with Samsung taking a 14% share of the market. The South Korea tech giant is followed closely by Sony and LG with 12% and 8% of the market, respectively.

It's worth noting that the numbers include set-top boxes, streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. Across the board, there are 1.14 billion streaming devices in use, Strategy Analytics reported.

More than Apple's small slice of the market, the data illustrates just how fragmented the streaming device industry really is. The company with the largest stake is Samsung, with only 14%.

"Over-the-top TV and video streaming to the TV is a complex and evolving landscape compared to mobile devices, where only two platforms dominate," said David Watkins, director at Strategy Analytics.

Alongside Apple, other streaming device makers with similar market shares include Amazon with 5%, Microsoft with 4%, and Roku with 3%.

When it came to the leading software platforms, Samsung's Tizen OS led the way with 11%, followed by LG's webOS and Sony's PlayStation. Apple's tvOS isn't even included in these numbers, instead falling under the "Other" category that occupies 49% of the market.

Apple will release a new update to its Apple TV operating system, tvOS 14, in the fall. It will feature deeper integration with HomeKit, better support for picture-in-picture mode, and other incremental features.

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that a new generation of the Apple TV hardware could arrive in 2021 with a faster processor and new "Find My Remote" feature.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 56
    AppleTV needs to be able to run iOS games with a controller. If I have PUBG on my iPad and a DualShock 4 Controller I should be able to download it to an AppleTV and play it from there on my TV. I assume that’s not a current option.
    gregoriusmpatchythepiratejoerock1234
  • Reply 2 of 56
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    Embarassing.

    When Steve Jobs announced Apple TV it was revolutionary, a game changer, the future of TV. Nowadays with lame full version updates which look more like an excuse than a full update, gens ago hardware and no up-to-date features, poor piece of hardware is not getting the treatment it deserves
    Scot1gregoriusmpulseimagespatchythepiratejoerock1234elijahgcat52chemengin1
  • Reply 3 of 56
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,316member
    "It's worth noting that the numbers include set-top boxes, streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. Across the board, there are 1.14 billion streaming devices in use, Strategy Analytics reported."

    lol. What an idiotic sample. Pretty much every single TV these days is a streaming device, so they pit Apple against actual TVs to get to that 2%? Also, this isn't that relevant, since the Apple TV app is now on almost all new TVs as well. 
    lollivergregoriusmMisterKit
  • Reply 4 of 56
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,372member
    To Aderutter: As I'm sure you're aware, the DualShock 4 Controller is supported. PUBG isn't on the tvOS App Store not because of its inability to handle it -- since it handles games with more complex graphics than that -- but due to a decision by the developer not to offer it there. So you should probably take that up with the developer.

    That said, there are rumours of a new model with beefier graphics (specifically for the games) coming in the not-too-distant-future, so you may get your wish this fall. Let's hope!

    To Beats: yes, you're embarrassing.

    You're correct that the Apple TV 4K has not been updated with newer hardware in quite a while. But Steve (and Tim) were completely correct about the future of TV being apps. See above about a possible new hardware refresh, but seriously -- are you under the delusion that Apple can magically and remotely upgrade the hardware from afar? The machine Steve Jobs introduced all the way through the current model were intended to support the "TV as apps" concept, and they support that beautifully. Apple TV 4K has (industry rated) THE BEST support for the latest video standards, Apple TV+ has the highest bitrate streaming, it offers services that other boxen may not have, and of course it has THE best security and privacy of any of the boxen, ZERO injected ads, and while the notion of it as a faux-console came very late in the day, the company has admirably tried to accommodate that despite it being absolutely NOT the focus or design intent of the device.

    Perhaps the new model -- or some future other device -- will stuff a full-on console into the box. I certainly would like to play some of my fave iOS games on my Apple TV, and thanks to Apple Arcade I do get some of them that way (and it works fine on the current hardware). If you have an Apple TV 4K, maybe try some of the Arcade games with your controller -- and then write a note to the makers of PUBG and ask them when they will support it on Apple TV.
    mike1lolliverjony0
  • Reply 5 of 56
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    slurpy said:
    "It's worth noting that the numbers include set-top boxes, streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and smart TVs. Across the board, there are 1.14 billion streaming devices in use, Strategy Analytics reported."

    lol. What an idiotic sample. Pretty much every single TV these days is a streaming device, so they pit Apple against actual TVs to get to that 2%? Also, this isn't that relevant, since the Apple TV app is now on almost all new TVs as well. 

    With that in mind Nintendo, Sony and Apple held the top 3 spots a decade ago. Apple has definitely fallen.

    Still it is unfair as Roku gets a lot of share even if people don't use their TVs built-in service.
    edited September 2020 patchythepirate
  • Reply 6 of 56
    This doesn't mean much at all. Many people don't use their 'Smart TV's' And most who do are taking huge security risks with their home network. This basically says that Samsung sells a lot of TV's with a Smart TV Feature. Are they used, enjoyed? And does this not look at streaming on iPhones and iPads? No?...well, worthless data. May as well call it, Who Sells the Most TV's with the word Smart on them.


    agilealtitudelollivergregoriusmjony0
  • Reply 7 of 56
    chasmchasm Posts: 2,372member
    Now on to the article itself: very useful info, but as with other comparisons much is lost without context.

    For starters, thanks for mentioning this comes from Strategy Analytics, which means its a guesstimate and not actual stats (particularly wrt to the Apple TV since it doesn't send out harvestable data on the level of its competitors). I could wish that this was made more clear with phrases like "assuming the report is more or less correct," et al.

    Second, two percent of 1.14B is 22.8 million Apple TV devices still in use (again, based on SA's guesstimates). Given that older models before the third-gen can be safely assumed to be retired, I think its pretty safe to say that we can speculate that Apple has probably sold somewhere north of 50M devices in total -- really quite good for a product priced so much higher than its most compatible competition.

    Third, the comparison is wildly overbroad. FTA: "It's worth noting that the numbers include set-top boxes, streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and smart TVs (emphasis mine). No individual device is going to look like it has dominance across that many devices. I'm certainly not suggesting that Apple TV is number one if you confine the survey to just set-top boxes and streaming sticks, but it would certainly do better -- and is (very likely) number one in "set-top boxes over $150," the same way that the HomePod remains the most popular smart speaker over $200. :)

    In fact, SA's own claims propose that Samsung is the nearest thing to a dominant player in the market, with 14 percent share for hardware and 11 percent for its homegrown Tizen OS. Since Samsung literally does not make set-top boxes, streaming sticks, or gaming consoles, this tells you that the number of smart TVs sold overwhelms any potentially useful data about sticks and boxen. That LG's WebOS was in second confirms that -- it's only used on their TVs. It should be noted that the Apple TV app is available on most 2018-and-later Samsung and LG TVs (and other brands), so in point of fact Apple's hand in the overall "streaming" market is bigger than this survey would suggest.

    Apart from giving us some idea of the size of the TV/boxen/stick/console total market, and being able to divine a ballpark figure on how many actual Apple TV boxes may be in use out there, this report overall is so over-broad that it all but useless IMO. But then, SA has a long track record of useless info.


    aderutterneillwdlollivergregoriusmmuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 8 of 56
    Yep, if the report excluded TVs it might have some value.

    The AppleTV does need an update though.
    For example the Shield has just had a firmware update for HDR>SDR which many (like me) would find useful.

    Obviously it needs a gaming boost, we should have processor parity across device form factors.
    In terms of gaming prowess, Apple devices suffer due to developers having to support older devices. 
    For example you can’t release a game that only works with an A13 or above for example. 
    You have to support all iOS 13 devices, so that includes iPhone6S generation devices, hence no cutting edge games.
    gregoriusm
  • Reply 9 of 56
    aderutter said:
    AppleTV needs to be able to run iOS games with a controller. If I have PUBG on my iPad and a DualShock 4 Controller I should be able to download it to an AppleTV and play it from there on my TV. I assume that’s not a current option.
    It's called AirPlay Mirroring, you've been able to do this for years.
    lolliver
  • Reply 10 of 56
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    chasm said:
    Now on to the article itself: very useful info, but as with other comparisons much is lost without context.

    For starters, thanks for mentioning this comes from Strategy Analytics, which means its a guesstimate and not actual stats (particularly wrt to the Apple TV since it doesn't send out harvestable data on the level of its competitors). I could wish that this was made more clear with phrases like "assuming the report is more or less correct," et al.

    Second, two percent of 1.14B is 22.8 million Apple TV devices still in use (again, based on SA's guesstimates). Given that older models before the third-gen can be safely assumed to be retired, I think its pretty safe to say that we can speculate that Apple has probably sold somewhere north of 50M devices in total -- really quite good for a product priced so much higher than its most compatible competition.

    Third, the comparison is wildly overbroad. FTA: "It's worth noting that the numbers include set-top boxes, streaming sticks, gaming consoles, and smart TVs (emphasis mine). No individual device is going to look like it has dominance across that many devices. I'm certainly not suggesting that Apple TV is number one if you confine the survey to just set-top boxes and streaming sticks, but it would certainly do better -- and is (very likely) number one in "set-top boxes over $150," the same way that the HomePod remains the most popular smart speaker over $200. :)

    In fact, SA's own claims propose that Samsung is the nearest thing to a dominant player in the market, with 14 percent share for hardware and 11 percent for its homegrown Tizen OS. Since Samsung literally does not make set-top boxes, streaming sticks, or gaming consoles, this tells you that the number of smart TVs sold overwhelms any potentially useful data about sticks and boxen. That LG's WebOS was in second confirms that -- it's only used on their TVs. It should be noted that the Apple TV app is available on most 2018-and-later Samsung and LG TVs (and other brands), so in point of fact Apple's hand in the overall "streaming" market is bigger than this survey would suggest.

    Apart from giving us some idea of the size of the TV/boxen/stick/console total market, and being able to divine a ballpark figure on how many actual Apple TV boxes may be in use out there, this report overall is so over-broad that it all but useless IMO. But then, SA has a long track record of useless info.



    This reminds me of an old thread where I was arguing with a Roku-defender. He used these stats to defend Roku. Here's the problem:

    I bought a Roku enabled TV with an Apple TV 4K to go along with it. We NEVER used the built in Roku and EXCLUSIVELY used the Apple TV daily. This means according to these statistics, that I as the consumer, added +1 point for Roku and +1 point for Apple TV, even though we never logged in to Roku. Meaning, our Apple TV plus statistic cancels out!

    Now think of all the users who just buy a TV for their XBox, Switch etc....... Yet Roku and Samsung are still raking in market share. I wonder how many Tizen/Roku "users" aren't actually using the platform? These stats are as dumb as counting every iPhone sale as an Apple TV+ user.

    In other words, every time you buy a "smart" TV and an Apple TV, your Apple TV market share basically cancels itself out. It isn't gonna gain more %.
    lollivergregoriusmpatchythepirateaderutter
  • Reply 11 of 56
    The Apple TV OS has just not been very compelling, IMO. The games suck, and I don’t find myself eager to check out new and exciting apps because there don’t seem to be many. Netflix, sure. Movies, sure. Infuse, yep. But that’s about it for me. Of course, privacy remains paramount, which is why I disable Wifi on my ‘smart’ TVs and use the ATV exclusively. I wouldn’t trust a Samsung TV if my life depended on it. 
    pulseimagespatchythepirateelijahg
  • Reply 12 of 56
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,429member
    aderutter said:
    Yep, if the report excluded TVs it might have some value.

    The AppleTV does need an update though.
    For example the Shield has just had a firmware update for HDR>SDR which many (like me) would find useful.

    Obviously it needs a gaming boost, we should have processor parity across device form factors.
    In terms of gaming prowess, Apple devices suffer due to developers having to support older devices. 
    For example you can’t release a game that only works with an A13 or above for example. 
    You have to support all iOS 13 devices, so that includes iPhone6S generation devices, hence no cutting edge games.

    WTF? I didn't know this. No wonder all the latest games look like crap for what the hardware is capable of. THIS needs to be lifted. Even if a game says "Requires iPhone XS and above" it may piss off a gamer temporarily but it will encourage him/her to upgrade which means another sale for Apple.
    gregoriusmpatchythepirateaderuttercat52
  • Reply 13 of 56
    mike1mike1 Posts: 2,678member
    If all of the Amazon Fire Sticks only have 5% share, and all the Samsung smart TVs sold only account for 14%, then Apple isn’t doing too bad with 2%. 
    gregoriusmBeats
  • Reply 14 of 56
    Beats said:
    Embarassing.

    When Steve Jobs announced Apple TV it was revolutionary, a game changer, the future of TV. Nowadays with lame full version updates which look more like an excuse than a full update, gens ago hardware and no up-to-date features, poor piece of hardware is not getting the treatment it deserves
    Steve Jobs called it a “hobby” and there’s little revolutionary or game changing about the original Apple TV.  It was a giant iPod with the Mac’s Front Row interface that you could connect to your TV. It didn’t even have access to the iTunes Store. You literally had to pair it to your computer to get it to work. Sling was well ahead at that point. Eventually Apple dumped it and went for a mulligan and at some point Tim upgraded it from a hobby. 


  • Reply 15 of 56
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,316member
    Beats said:
    Embarassing.

    When Steve Jobs announced Apple TV it was revolutionary, a game changer, the future of TV. Nowadays with lame full version updates which look more like an excuse than a full update, gens ago hardware and no up-to-date features, poor piece of hardware is not getting the treatment it deserves
    You're full of shit. He never called it revolutionary. He called it a hobby until his death. But nice revisionist history there, you needed to dig SJ out of his grave to make up lies. Also, what Apple TV is now, is infinitely better than what Jobs announced, with massively more capability. The Apple TV appstore didn't even exist. 
    lolliverjohn.bBeatsdysamoriafastasleeppulseimages
  • Reply 16 of 56
    AppleTV is a lost cause, starting with the shitty (sorry!) little remote. It then does downhill from there. Apple's biggest underachievement, so far.

    Take it to the next level, or shut it down.
    muthuk_vanalingamjohn.bBeatspulseimages
  • Reply 17 of 56
    aderutter said:
    AppleTV needs to be able to run iOS games with a controller. If I have PUBG on my iPad and a DualShock 4 Controller I should be able to download it to an AppleTV and play it from there on my TV. I assume that’s not a current option.
    It's called AirPlay Mirroring, you've been able to do this for years.
    Which very often sucks, in my experience. 
    MisterKitpatchythepiratedysamoriaanantksundaram
  • Reply 18 of 56
    It didn’t help that Apple treated the Apple TV as a hobby for years. 
  • Reply 19 of 56
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 3,395member
    I hate the OS & apps on our “smart” TV (and every “smart” TV). Their software is garbage. It should not in any way be a sellable product.

    I’ve considered an Apple TV as a result, since Airplay sucks (doesn’t work at all from my High Sierra 2009 MacBook Pro, barely works from my iPhone 6s or iPad Pro, including squashed picture, latency, compression, etc, and is inconsistent and compressed from my girlfriend’s new MacBook Pro), and having multiple wires draped between a laptop and the entertainment center also really sucks.

    I’m not liking the inconsistencies reported about Apple TV OS, compared to the other variants of iOS, not liking the remote, and I’m not eager to spend another $200 on a device that might not actually be a great enough improvement over the abysmal TV software, if the streaming apps aren’t 100% like the iPad versions or websites.
    patchythepirate
  • Reply 20 of 56
    mike1 said:
    If all of the Amazon Fire Sticks only have 5% share, and all the Samsung smart TVs sold only account for 14%, then Apple isn’t doing too bad with 2%. 
    My thoughts exactly. The Playstation 4 has sold over 106 million units. Samsung, Sony, and LG have sold a ton of TV's. The Apple TV coming in at 2% really doesn't seem that bad to me. 
    mad42
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