Apple announced on its earnings call today that the company sold more than 2 million Apple TV devices in its fiscal first quarter. That’s up from 1.3 million sequentially, and up from 1.4 million during the previous holiday period. Altogether, that means Apple has sold more than 10 million Apple TV units over the years, making it one of the most popular streaming devices out there.
The growth in Apple TV sales shows continued demand for an understated device that is now five years old. It also comes as users and analysts alike continue to wait for Apple to produce an actual TV. For years, prognosticators have forecast Apple would get into the HDTV market. But with no real timeline for building its software into a streaming display, its streaming box continues to sell well.
In many ways, its strategy seems smart now: Connected TV adoption hasn’t been as great as some may have expected, but the market set-top boxes continues to grow. Take a look at Google TV, for example: While it launched with Sony producing actual TVs a few years ago, nowadays most of the takeup for devices running the OS seems to be coming in the form of boxes produced by the likes of Vizio, Netgear, HiSense, and others. And, at least for now, Apple seems to be the market leader.
But that doesn’t mean Apple can’t do more. On the earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company was exploring new ways to distribute video content in the living room. “I tend to believe that there’s a lot that we can contribute in this space and so we continue to pull the string and see where it leads us,” Cook said. “But I don’t want to be more specific.”
Rather than build more smarts into the device, the company continues to connect it to other devices that leverage AirPlay and can stream or navigate content that can be displayed on the box. Last summer Apple added AirPlay mirroring to computers running OSX Mountain Lion. It’s also added better support for developers who wish to build dual-screen apps that leverage their iPhones or iPads for control of the Apple TV.