The Apple TV is beginning to show its age, and the effects of a lack of any significant upgrades in recent years, as it continues to lose ground in the battle for set-top box supremacy. Apple’s little black box lost ground to both Roku and Google’s Chromecast in the first three quarters of 2014.
Apple’s decline comes at a time when interest in streaming media devices is on the upswing, with 10 percent of households buying at least one media player this year.
The study, from market researcher Parks Associates, shows Roku continuing to lead the set-top box and streaming stick markets, despite a drop in year-over-year market share. Roku holds 29% of the market for the 9-month period, down from 46% in 2013.
Google’s Chromecast streaming stick made a strong second place showing, knocking the Apple TV from its traditional 2nd place ranking. The Chromecast grabbed 20% of the market, while the Apple TV dropped to a 17% share, remaining in front of Amazon’s Fire TV and Fire TV stick, which accounted for a combined 10% of the market share.
The Apple TV hasn’t had a major hardware update since March 2012, although there was a minor hardware revision in January 2013. Although rumors continue to circulate about a major upgrade for Apple’s black box, with App Store integration, gaming controller support and more being whispered about, nothing concrete has been officially announced.