Apple has emerged as the leading player in the rapidly growing connected TV player market, according to research from the Strategy Analytics Connected Home Devices service. According to the report – Connected TV Players: Another Battlefield in the Smart TV War – global sales of Connected TV players – also known as video streaming or Internet TV set-top boxes – will more than double in 2011, compared to 2010. Strategy Analytics projects that the market will reach almost 12 million units globally this year, with Apple alone predicted to sell nearly four million devices.
According to Strategy Analytics, while Connected TV players have not gained mainstream traction, an increasing number of consumers are buying them, as they offer one of the easiest ways to get Internet content onto the big TV screen. The lower price points of the second generation Apple TV and Roku Box have made them more affordable and compelling to consumers. More than eight per cent of US households now own a connected TV player, compared to seven per cent of European households.
This report also found that Apple TV users are spending more money on movies and TV shows: 30 per cent of Apple TV owners rented movies or TV shows, compared to 20 per cent of users of other devices. “Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a ‘hobby’,” commented Jia Wu, Senior Analyst at the Connected Home Devices (CHD) service. “As Apple prepares for its expected launch of smart TVs in 2012, rival platforms must accelerate their development plans to keep Apple from running away with the Connected TV business, as it has done in smartphones and digital music,” he advised.