Skip to main content

Strategy Analytics: Apple TV now leads set-top boxes

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Market research firm Strategy Analytics has issued a new report that claims Apple has captured yet another market: TV set-top boxes. Strategy Analytics expects the market for TV set-top boxes to reach 12 million units this year, with Apple accounting for nearly one third of the market, or about 4 million units. The report also finds that Apple TV owners spend more money on movies and TV shows—although the numbers are surprisingly low for a device that was essentially envisioned as a gateway to Apple’s iTunes store.

“Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby,'” said Strategy Analytics senior analyst Jia Wu, in a statement.

Overall, Strategy Analytics finds that some eight percent of U.S. households have a TV set-top box that brings in streaming or Internet-based content—that number is slightly higher than in Europe, where the figure was seven percent. Strategy Analytics attributes quickly adoption of the devices to lower price points set by the Apple TV and Roku—the second-generation Apple TV is $99, while Roku boxes start at just $49.99.

The report finds that 30 percent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows through the device, compared to just 20 percent of users of other set-top box and streaming devices. The figure is surprising, given that the Apple TV was primarily envisioned as a way for users to tap into content from the iTunes store from a television rather than from a computer or other device. The percentages suggest the most popular feature of the Apple TV is not its access to the iTunes store, but rather its Netflix client and the ability to bring in content from around the home network via AirPlay.

Apple has famously described the Apple TV as a “hobby,” and despite an exciting second-generation refresh a year ago that brought the unit’s price down to $99, has largely consigned the product to long periods of neglect as Apple focuses on other businesses. However, the apparent success of the Apple TV may bode well for the much-rumored Apple TV, fueled by Steve Jobs telling biographer Walter Isaacson that he had finally “cracked” the problem of providing a fully integrated television experience.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Duncan
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff Duncan writes, programs, edits, plays music, and delights in making software misbehave. He's probably the only member…
What is Apple TV+? Pricing, features, how to get it, and more
The Apple TV+ home screen with an image from Invasion.

Since its launch in November of 2019, Apple TV+ has elbowed its way on to the playing field of streaming services from Netflix and Amazon Prime Video to Disney+, Max, Hulu, and a plethora of others to become, for many, a go-to option for movies, TV series, and sports. Since then the ad-free service has amassed an estimated 25 million subscribers globally, with many more than that reportedly cashing in on the company's penchant for free promotional subscriptions after you buy a new Apple device like an iPhone or MacBook.

What sets Apple TV+ apart from the rest of the herd is that it's the only service that offers exclusively original content and only its own original content; meaning no seasons of Rick and Morty or Friends licensed from their respective networks and no blockbuster flicks from other studios, but you can get those elsewhere. This may or may not be a bad thing, as so far Apple has done a pretty good job at making some of the most compelling original content out there, including award-winning series such as Ted Lasso, The Morning Show, and Severance to some of the best sci-fi series around, like Silo and Invasion, as well as live sports from Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

Read more
How to share an Apple TV+ subscription with your family
Using app in front of TV to control Apple TV+.

Apple TV+ has gained some ground since it launched in 2019 and is now home to some pretty great entertainment. But if you've been keeping your Apple TV+ subscription all to yourself while your family has been seething with jealousy, you may be wondering, “How do I share Apple TV with my family without paying for more subscriptions?” Fortunately, there’s an easy way for them to check out the latest Apple hits like Central Park, See, and many more without always needing your permission or passwords. It’s all about Apple’s Family Sharing capabilities. Here’s what you need to do.

Read more
How to reset an Apple TV to its factory settings
Reset options for Apple TV.

Apple TV remains the best streaming hardware you can buy, thanks to its impressive integration of software and hardware. And because of that, it's going to last you for years.

Read more