Wait … Apple TV Is More Popular Than Roku?

There is always loads of data to mine in corporate earnings announcements, and yesterday’s Apple announcement is no different. Dan covered the highlights including iPhones, Macs, iPads and iPods … but I noticed a mention at GigaOM about AppleTV sales.

Apparently AppleTV sold 1.4 million units during the last quarter. I really didn’t think too much about that because I am constantly reading about how more and more game consoles are serving as full-service home entertainment systems since they can run Netflix, Hulu and more.

I also just assumed that Roku and other ‘set top boxes’ were dominating much like Kindle and Nook ebooks dominate Apple’s iBooks. I assumed that because while you can get your iTunes stuff on it and Netflix, you can’t use Hulu or Amazon video or a bunch of other services available on other devices. Also, I know a bunch of people with a Roku, and almost no one (in fact, outside of Gear Diary no one at all) using an Apple TV.

Turns out I was VERY wrong. The 1.4 million Apple TV’s sold last quarter are more than HALF the TOTAL Roku sales, which were recently reported as being 2.5 million devices TOTAL LIFETIME in the last three years. And Roku is the #2 product in the category.

Apple has reportedly sold more than 4.2 million devices in just a year and a half, making it the clear leader in this area. Now the reports that Apple was dragging its feet on approving Hulu+ for Apple TV make more sense!

Do you have an Apple TV or a Roku or another box? What do you like or dislike?

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4 replies

  1. I’ve had my Apple TV2 for a little over a year, and I like it quite a lot.  At first I didn’t think that the version 2 without it’s own hard drive was going to be as functional, so I passed it over as a personal purchase.  But I got one as a gift, and it’s turned out to be my favorite gift ever!  I watch my quite large iTunes library, and Netflix mostly.  I’ve been working my way through the Star Trek series, and am almost done with Voyager.  I’ll be moving on to DS9 when I’m done.  Never had Roku, so couldn’t compare for you there, but I like my little Apple TV & use it pretty much every day.

  2. I recently purchased an Apple TV and I love it. I use it to access my Netflix account and I rarely go to the theatre to watch a movie, but often will rent one from iTunes. I also use it to share photos with family and friends when they are visiting – that alone has sold a few friends on getting their own. The last thing that I LOVE is the ability to mirror my iPad 2 on it. There are some pass-and-play games . . . like Wheel Of Fortune . . . that are much more enjoyable when the players can see the game on my 55″ TV. 

    The lack of Hulu doesn’t bother me . . . I can’t see paying to watch old tv shows on Hulu. Anything current I want to watch will already be DVR’d and ready for me to watch at my convenience.

    It’s one of the best $99 I have spent.

  3. How do these sales numbers make sense of Apple’s delay of Hulu support?  I can’t make the connection.