Apple TV -- a set-top box (STB) from the iPhone maker -- has managed to acquire the third-ranked position in 2015, based on revenue in the overall global set-top box market, from ninth place in 2014. According to a report by ISH, “the surge is courtesy of continued strong growth in consumer retail [of] over-the-top television (OTT) boxes, and the consolidation of the top players of the global set-top box market with Arris’s acquisition of Pace and Technicolor’s acquisition of Cisco’s set-top box division, which were finalized last year. Bringing Apple into global contention from a unit-shipment standpoint.
“More than 10 million Apple TVs were shipped in 2015 -- the fifth largest volume in the world -- following Arris, Technicolor, and Skyworth and ZTE.”
“The STB market has certainly grown since 2007, when Steve Jobs originally described the Apple TV business line as a ‘hobby,’” said Daniel Simmons, director of connected home for IHS Technology. “Now we’re seeing sales of Apple’s consumer devices in the millions, which has catapulted the company ahead of leading STB manufacturers that ship to pay-TV providers. Apple TV’s particular success is a result of translating consumption habits from across Apple’s wider device ecosystem onto the TV screen.”
“The new positioning of Apple at the top of the set-top box market reflects several trends,” Simmons said. “Pay-TV specific set-top boxes are becoming less important for consumers to access premium content, because Netflix, HBO Go and other OTT video platforms now offer top-tier content to retail OTT STBs. As retail STBs have grown in the market, traditional pay-TV set-top vendors have been forced to re-position themselves, with significant consolidation at the top of the market, diversification toward software and services in the middle, and low-end vendors moving toward broader volume.”
This development comes as a relief to the company at a time where Apple’s golden child, the iPhone has been struggling to maintain it’s growth in sales. With the company turning towards services like iTunes or Apple Music and the Apple TV is a great mule to do so.