Apple has seen massive success in the tablet, PC and smartphone markets, but luck has not favored it when it comes to Apple TV sales. In a recent survey, Parks Associates found that Roku and Amazon have stolen all the limelight and market share, leaving Apple struggling.
Roku and Amazon way ahead
According to AppleInsider, the survey was conducted in the U.S. with a sample of 10,000 homes that had at least one streaming player. Parks Associates found that Roku is ruling the market with a massive 37% market share, compared to 32% last year.
Amazon commanded a 24% market share, up from 16% last year. Even Google’s Chromecast was ahead of Apple even though it witnessed a drop in market share from 21% to 18%. Meanwhile, Apple’s market share dropped from 19% last year to 15% this year.
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It seems that Apple’s comparatively high prices are the reason for its declining market share. The Apple TV is priced at $150 or $200, based on the amount of storage capacity. On the other hand, the starting retail price of Roku is $40; Fire TV starts at $90, while Chromecast’s price is $35. In addition, resellers sometimes offer these streaming devices at even lower prices, notes MacRumors.
Glenn Hower, a senior analyst at Parks Associates, said, “Higher-priced devices, such as the Apple TV, have not been able to keep up with low-priced and readily available Roku devices, which can be found at Walmart for as low as $29.99.”
Parks Associates findings suggest that users find it easy to use the Roku and Amazon Fire TV sticks compared to Apple’s device. To make it more widely available, Roku software now comes preinstalled on the operating system of many TVs offered at affordable prices. Amazon adopted a similar strategy later, notes ChannelNews.
Will next-gen Apple TV sales crush those of rivals?
In a similar study last month, eMarketer also found Roku to have a considerable lead over its rivals. According to eMarketer, 38.9 million Americans use Roku-equipped device at least once a month, compared to 21.3 million for the Apple TV.
After Apple’s first-quarter earnings were released earlier this year, Apple’s financial chief Luca Maestri said the company saw a decline in Apple TV sales; however, he didn’t reveal the exact sales figure, as the device falls under the “Other Products” category. The current-gen Apple TV was launched two years ago in October with several amazing features, but customers are waiting for new features, of which 4K is the most desired.
It seems like Apple might grant this wish, as Bloomberg claimed in February that the company was working on a new Apple TV with 4K support and more vivid colors. The report added that the fifth-gen product is code-named J105, and it might be released later this year. Apple is expected to host a launch event in September to unveil the new iPhones, and hopefully, we will see a new Apple TV there as well.
The current market is very price-conscious, and thus, the question is whether Apple will really be able to strike gold with a 4K-enabled Apple TV, which will likely come with a very high price tag.
On Wednesday, Apple shares closed up 0.13% at $159.98. Year to date, the stock is up more than 38%, while in the last year, it is up more than 46%.