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Apple TV tops 20 million units sold as the set-top battle rages on

It’s been a good week for Apple. Along with a better than expected quarterly earnings report that marked a hefty rise in profits over last year, CEO Tim Cook revealed in a financial earnings call yesterday that Apple has sold 20 million Apple TV units to date. In the same call to investors, Cook also indicated that the Cupertino-based tech giant now has close to 800 million worldwide iTunes accounts under its belt. The big numbers sent Apple stocks skyrocketing.

This year has already been a hot one for a number of Apple’s competitors in the set-top game. Amazon finally released its anticipated Fire TV set-top box earlier this month, and also recently struck a deal with HBO to bring the HBO GO app to the box, as well as securing an unprecedented licensing agreement that will bring some of the premium network’s more vintage fare to Prime Instant Video subscribers for free. Roku has also fared well, sticking it to Chromecast last month with the release of its Streaming Stick, and February saw swirling rumors that the set-top box maker was considering a potential IPO by the end of 2014.

But with all that said, Apple is still in a cozy position to take on its nemeses. The Apple TV is certainly no longer the “hobby” that its creators once deemed it to be, and it appears to be the current go-to set-top box to buy – a report put out last July by the market research outlet Frost & Sullivan found that, globally, Apple TV accounts for 56 percent of all streaming devices sold.

Roku was far behind in second place with a 21.5-percent stake in global device sales, though the numbers are still pretty respectable considering Roku has a mere fraction of Apple’s resources. Google doesn’t release sales numbers for its Chromecast, except to say that the device has “sold millions.”

How about you? What’s your go-to streaming device, and why? Let us know in the comments.

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