Roku continues to trounce Apple TV


apple tv and siri remote
Apple TV can't compete with Roku.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The gap between Apple TV and Roku continues to widen — only not in Apple’s favor.

According to the latest research data, Apple TV is getting absolutely dominated in the streaming set-top box race. As top rival Roku inches closer toward taking over half the market, Apple TV still struggles to crack into the top three streamers. And the future isn’t looking too bright.

The latest data from Parks Associates reveals that Roku’s market share grew from 30 percent in Q1 2016 to 37 percent in Q2 2017. Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire Stick players helped it capture the No. 2 spot, with 24 percent, while Google held onto third place with 18 percent.

Apple TV struggles to gain marketshare

Apple’s higher-priced box hasn’t been able to catch up. Costing nearly five times as much as a Roku device, Apple TV saw its market share drop to just 15 percent this year.

apple tv chart
Apple TV is getting whooped!
Photo: Parks and Associates

“Roku emerged early as a U.S. market leader for streaming media players, and the company has held firmly to that position,” said Glenn Hower, a senior analyst with Parks Associates. “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.”

An update for the Apple TV is rumored to be in the works this year. It may not help win over new customers, though. The new Apple TV will likely cost somewhere in the same range as the fourth-generation Apple TV ($149 to $199).

The new Apple TV could be revealed as soon as next month during an expected iPhone 8 keynote. Details about new features have been scarce, but the new Apple TV likely will support 4K video in two different color formats. It may also come with a coaxial cable input so users can ditch their cable boxes.

  • David Henderson

    I use my fire stick much more than my Apple TV but I think a device that has 15 percent market share is not really getting “trounced” if it can command a selling price 5 times higher than the market share leader. Isn’t that what MacBooks do to Dell?

  • Jay

    Roku, the Fire stick and whatever else can be jailbroken. I believe that fact and the price of the AppleTV is what is allowing them to ‘trounce’ it.

  • Nefarious420

    Apple not making the AppleTV 4k was a mistake, and that Firesticks, Rokus, and Chrome Sticks are used largely for piracy and can be purchased on NYC street corners for $20-$50 pre-programmed and ready to rock doesn’t help. People love Free and Cheap.

  • Alecio P

    Apple as always comes behind of competitors when it comes to innovation, big F to Apple TV

    • Barry Marshall

      The way Apple looks at things is if they haven’t developed it they will probably not use it and try some half hearted attempt to copy it so that they make money off of it, until the masses tell them to drop the ego bullshit and get on with developing for the product, except in the Blu-Ray. Nikon is like that to. I’m not into subscriptions like the majority but if I was I would probably have gone Roku but just use Apple TV to watch movies. Don’t do Microsoft or Adobe subscriptions and I will not subscribe to Netflix since they are to expensive for the crap that is produced today.

      • Alecio P

        I am not an apple hater by any means, I even have the Apple TV because I got it as a gift, but it is almost underwhelming compared with Roku. I love my iPhone and my MacBook Pro but not everything Apple puts in the market is good, and eventually I’ll move on from buying iPhones.

  • 5723alex .

    Who uses Roku outside of US ? The US is a small insignificant country.