Apple's quiet infiltration of the living room

Apple's "hobby" project has captured over 56 percent of the IP streaming devices market, pushing big names such as Roku and TiVo into a distance second and third place.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor

Apple, it seems, has managed to sneak its tanks into living rooms under the noses of other set-top box makers, according to market researchers at Frost & Sullivan.

The company crunched the numbers of sales of what it calls 'IP streaming devices' and came to the conclusion that "Apple accounts for the majority of sales by far, despite offering relatively narrow content access."

The Apple TV is winning the war for the living room.

(Source: Frost & Sullivan)

Grabbing a 50+ percent market share with a device that, back in August 2010, then COO – and now CEO – Tim Cook called "a hobby" is not bad at all.

So what's the secret? According to Frost & Sullivan, it has little to do with content, and everything to do with ease of use.

"Apple TV's AirPlay feature was strategically crafted to simplify the process of transferring laptop and tablet displays to a TV screen, and it is AirPlaying – not OTT streaming – that is the primary reason for purchase of Apple TV devices."

But the future is hazy. As noted by Frost & Sullivan, "the long-term potential for this segment does remain uncertain," because " while current growth rates are high, the total installed base of $99 streaming boxes is quite low."

As far as competition goes, Roku is far behind Apple with a 21.5 percent market share, and TiVo even further behind, with a 6.5 percent share.

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