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Customers Seem to Prefer Chromecast to Apple TV

They're different products, but customers seem to prefer the lower-price point and more limited features of Chromecast
Apple TV
June 10, 2016

If Apple is at war with Google for space in your living room, it looks like Cupertino could be losing.

It's worth stressing from the outset that the Apple TV and Google's Chromecast are different devices, particularly since the fourth-generation set-top box (including tvOS) launched from Apple. But each product is, after all, battling for a space near your HDTV. And as mentioned, if recent data is anything to go by, it seems Google's product is more popular than Apple's.

Fortune has the report, and notes that Google shipped 3.2 million Chromecasts in the first quarter of 2016; Apple, on the other hand, shipped 1.7 million Apple TVs. Significiantly, this marks the first time Google has overtaken Apple, according to market research firm IHS. Of course, Apple and Google aren't the only players in this market: there's also Amazon (and its Fire TV stick), Roku, and smart TVs from the likes of Samsung and LG, which integrate Internet-connected functionality within the television itself.

Concerning the news, IHS said:

We anticipate that this reversal will persist. Since the introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple and Google have pursued vastly different strategies.

These “different strategies” have, of course, resulted in two vastly different products, and so it's difficult to compare the Apple TV and Chromecast too directly. Price is one of the biggest differences between the two: for $35, Google's HDMI dongle is worth taking a chance on for anyone interested in giving their HDTV some extra features. The Apple TV, on the other hand, is a $149 experience that features its own App Store, applications, and voice control.

Does that mean consumers don't want the wealth of functionality the Apple TV offers? Perhaps – or rather more fairly, perhaps not yet. But interest in the Apple TV is growing, even if its share of the market isn't rocketing quite so quickly as Google's.