Connected TVs: Apple, Roku Thrive, Google Hits Snag

By : Subscribe to Gabriel's | December 24, 2010 2:39 AM IST

Once famously called a "hobby," by Apple CEO Steve Jobs, connected digital content device Apple TV has apparently upgraded into the mainstream realm.

The Cupertino, Calif. based company announced its Apple TV product has sold one million units since its release in September. Meanwhile, connected TV competitor Roku told Business Insider that they expected to reach one million boxes sold by the end of the year. The digital receivers allow for content from various web or streaming outlets, such as YouTube or Netflix, onto a high-definition TV screen.

The popularity of the latest version of Apple TV is considered a remarkable turnaround by many in the industry. The original version of the device sold so poorly, Jobs had called it a hobby. With the latest version, viewers are using it to watch 400,000 TV episodes and over 150,000 movies per day.

Roku's success story did not happen as fast, but is still impressive. The company began releasing digital set top boxes in 2008 and only now have they begun to sell well. CEO Anthony Wood told Business Insider that the popularity of Apple TV has actually helped Roku sell more boxes.

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The news isn't good for all connected TV offerings. According to a report from The New York Times, Google has asked some television manufacturers to delay announcements at the Consumer Electronics Show that would have tied in Google TV with their newest HD sets. The report says this could impact the plans of Sony, LG and Sharp. Sony, which has already released multiple Google TVs, said the TVs have met expectations thus far.

Google did not respond to a request for comment.

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