July 9, 2014
The hardware for the Apple TV hasn’t been updated since 2012. That might explain news that No. 1 Roku’s lead over Apple’s “hobby” device has grown in recent months, according to CNET. On Wednesday, Parks Associates announced that 44 percent of U.S. broadband households with a streaming media player used a Roku. This compared to 26 percent who opted for an Apple TV. This is an 18 point difference. Last year, the gap was 13 points. Things could soon improve for the Apple TV, according to Barbara Kraus, Parks’ director of research. One of the reasons is Amazon’s Fire TV, whose arrival "could awaken the sleeping giant that is Apple.” Another reason: Apple is no longer treating the device as a hobby. Kraus notes "When you look in this country, Apple always said that Apple TV was a bit of a hobby. Now that they're making some nice media sales from it, I think we'll see more from them. I think the fact that it was just a hobby was a benefit for Roku." Interestingly enough, one device that Apple may not have to worry about is the Google Chromecast. Last month, Parks found that the $35 device is being "used less and less," as consumers opt for different options to get online video to their television. That may be one of the reasons why Google recently announced the Android TV. See also: The Vimeo Channel On Apple TV Gets A Facelift And New Discovery Tools, and ABC News Among 4 New Channels On Apple TV.