Apple TV drops to 3rd place among top streaming devices in U.S.

appleTV
Tim Cook swears Apple TV isn’t just a hobby for the mothership anymore, but according to the latest estimates, it might be time for Apple unleashed some new non-hobby Apple TV features if it wants to catch up to Roku and Chromecast.

New data from Parks Associates reveals that while the Apple TV streaming box has been available for over seven years, Chromecast has already surged past Apple TV in 2013, making Google’s tiny stick the most popular streaming device in the U.S.  

Google has already sold about 3.8 million Chromecast units since revealing its streaming device in mid-2013, which puts it roughly equal with Roku’s sales through 2013, according to data from Parks Associates. Apple TV comes in at third place with only 2 million units sold in the U.S. last year.

Outside of the U.S. though Apple TV is dominating. Over 20 million Apple TVs have been sold since its launch in 2007. Roku on the other hand only has mustered up 8 million total sales by the end of 2013, but it’s only available in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Ireland rather than the dozens of countries Apple TV is sold in.

Google is hurrying to catch up to Apple on the global stage and has already made Chromecast available in 19 countries, but Parks estimates that Chromecast owners are actually using their device less frequently than they did six months ago, even though per-minute usage of active devices has continued to rise.

  • Scott Landis

    I’m not surprised that the Chromecast is selling well. It’s super cheap and the theory is great, but after receiving one as a gift I can’t believe anyone would use it. The picture was crappy (looked like an upscaled SD video), the interface was laggy and every single video I watched had sound syncing issues bad enough to make watching uncomfortable. I even ran it though the same HDMI port I normally run my Apple TV through, just to make sure there wasn’t something wrong with my TV. It’s always possible I received a bad unit, but I have to say I was shocked by the experience.

    • Nick V

      With your review, I doubt that you’ve ever used one. It works great, the picture quality is great, and it is super simple. Even Apple websites have claimed that this is what Apple TV should have been.

      • Kr00

        I’ve used one.

        Yeah right. How much you getting paid for your “comments”? Saw it in action and the audio output quality is shite. It doesn’t handle 5.1 and has no settings to adjust output. Why would anyone take what a moronic fandroid troll has to say seriously. Isn’t there a bridge you should hiding under somewhere?

      • Nick V

        Awe, so cute with the insults. Unlike you, I can have a constructive discussion, but unfortunately, you stepped up instead of a real man. I didn’t get paid a dime actually. I have 5 of these for my home, and for my mother. They work perfectly, and I have had ZERO trouble, unlike your ability to be a man who can hold a discussion.

      • Scott Landis

        You can believe what you want to believe, but I have both plugged into my TV and I choose the Apple TV over the Chromecast every day. The adove description is what my experience was while watching three shows, all via Netflix, through Chromecast.

        I would like to point out that I already said I may have a bad unit as I doubt that any company would ship a product as shockingly bad as my specific Chromecast unit is, but, that being said, in my experience with a single Chromecast unit, the experience is poor.

  • ipodfreek

    If Apple would open up the channels to anyone like the Roku does, I’d probably buy one. I use Plex to stream my media at home, and you can’t do that on the Apple TV.

    • Hildebrand

      I stream all my media on Apple TV via AirPlay. I guess you’re still on a PC ;-)

    • AAPL_@_$101_Is_A_Done_Deal_:)

      Agreed. Without PLEX I’m not going to waste my time. I’ll continue to use my Roku 3 with PLEX client support. I don’t know what the problem is why AppleTV doesn’t support PLEX but I suppose they have their reasons of trying to keep everyone using iTunes as a content database. For $99, it’s not like I can’t afford another streaming box, however if the next AppleTV supports iOS games, I’ll buy it and put up with another damn box and remote for my media center.

    • lowtolerance

      Yes, you can. I’ve been doing exactly this for several months now with PlexConnect.

  • Hildebrand

    Comparing apples and pears. Apple is for iOS devices only, while Chromecast is limited to other platforms. Apple TV has a bigger share within the area it operates in. Apple TV is also way bigger in revenue. Apple TV is also a different product.

    • lowtolerance

      Chromecast isn’t “limited to other platforms”, it’s pretty wide open and there are a bunch of iOS apps that support it, including YouTube, Netflix and Plex. I agree though that it’s a pretty terrible comparison. While the Apple TV plays well with other iOS devices, it’s a standalone device, whereas the Chromecast is useless on its own.

      • Hildebrand

        It’s not really relevant to the comparison that 1 or 2% of iOS apps support Chromecast.

    • Kr00

      Your comments make no sense. Apple TV is just for iOS devices. You can use a Mac, and a PC (with a third party app) to stream content. Beamer is a great app to stream any video file to Apple TV.

      • Nick V

        He’s a Fanboy Troll… He should have said that AppleTV is limited.

      • Kr00

        Have to wonder why people like you keep coming here with hidden agendas. Your life must be so sad. I hope you get over your inferiority complex one day, I really do!!!

      • Nick V

        What was my hidden agenda? I didn’t put anyone or anything down. Apparently, the only thing inferior is you. My comment was about AppleTV being limited by Apple’s TOS. Where as Chromecast works on just about every platform.

        Sorry you can’t rise to the level of an adult, but I’m sure it’s not for lack of trying.

  • http://www.MyTabletLife.com Chris Garcia

    Um. Apple TV sold 10 million in 2013.. so it sold almost 3 times MORE then Chromecast. This with being $99 vs $35.

    Surprised Cult of Mac getting numbers wrong … at least when its not int the favor of Apple… But anyway… 10 million vs 3.8 million.. #1.. not #3.. since Roku sold 4 million.

  • jbelkin

    I don’t know about your math but 22 million is a larger than 3.8 million. Plus that last line about how after 6 months, people use it less frequently means it was an impulse buy as with all Google devices and now sits in a drawer. You can also do the math numbers – 22 million times (typical Apple margins) $40 of profit on a $99 product … chromecast? maybe $5, maybe less?

    • http://www.MyTabletLife.com Chris Garcia

      Figures arent even right.. Apple TV sold 10 million in 2013.. more then Roku and Chromecast combined..

  • Jeremiah_Nilsson

    Not bad for a hobby.

    here we use it for Netflix, FlickR-showing, watching youtube/Viemo, showing things from a computer. Showing pictures directly from iPhone/iPad….
    Downloaded material is on the Mac, streamed to ATV3 and the TV..

    Best 100 bucks invested ever.

  • Kr00

    After seeing chromecast in action, I was underwhelmed. It couldn’t handle 5.1 audio and even then the quality was bad at best, run through the surround sound stereo. As stated the Apple TV is a standalone device.

  • Firegod

    I own an Apple TV, the ecosystem is small and many of the channels require you to have cable subscription, which I don’t. I bought it for Airplay though, and that works mostly well on my 5S and newish iMac. Netflix compression is also different from my blue ray player, motion suxs, but pic quality is better when there is less motion. Also. 5.1 is flaky, sometimes I have to go flip settings to get it to work. Apple needs to bring the quality up and bring more options for more reasonably priced streaming for things I can’t get right now ( like HBO and AMC) if they want to see wider adoption. When Airplay works though, totally worth the purchase price for that alone.

  • http://www.MyTabletLife.com Chris Garcia

    Lol. It didn’t say USA when I posted this.. good fix.

  • Kr00

    Crap device. Can’t run stand alone.

    • Benjamin Muller

      Yes it can.

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Senior News Editor and lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Twitter: @bst3r.

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