IHS: Google’s Chromecast outsells Apple TV nearly 2-to-1

IHS has released key findings from its Connected Device Market Monitor. The IHS Technology Connected Device Market Monitor report examines key trends and data for global devices, over the top (OTT) and pay TV multiscreen markets.

As of year-end 2015, the world now contains 8.1 billion connected smartphones, tablets, personal computers, TVs, TV-attached devices and audio devices. On average, across the globe, this device base equates to an astounding four devices per household.

“The proliferation of media-enabled connected endpoints has implications for media consumption, media production, broadband infrastructure, and the business itself of network management and traffic discrimination,” said Merrick Kingston, principal analyst-connected home, at IHS Technology, in a statement. “It drives media consumption, IP traffic and more.”

Smartphones outnumber tablets by five to one

Year-on-year, smartphones contribute roughly half a billion new devices to the market; tablet and OTT set-tops are also growing quickly, but operate a full order of magnitude below the smartphone. By 2020, this ratio will only widen. Within the forecast period, the smartphone-to-tablet ratio rises to nearly 10:1.

Chromecast leapfrogs Apple TV

For all its early momentum, Chromecast had been unable to out-ship the Apple TV. This finally changed during the first quarter of 2016 with Apple TV shipping 1.7 million units compared to Google pushing 3.2 million Chromecasts to market. “We anticipate that this reversal will persist,” Kingston said. “Since the introduction of the fourth-generation Apple TV, Apple and Google have pursued vastly different strategies.”

The Apple TV with Siri remote and Apple TV App Store
The Apple TV with Siri remote and Apple TV App Store

The Apple TV, starting at $149, has inexorably been shuttled into the segment’s top end. The device is now positioned as a premium hub that appeals to consumers of digital video, to casual gamers and to iOS owners who are intrinsically attracted to Apple’s singular user-interface. Chromecast, at $35, is a veritable bargain, naturally complements portable Android devices and offers a no-frills casting experience that obviates the very need for a user-interface.

Netflix has secured a presence across 32 percent of connected devices in the US

As of year-end 2015, Netflix addresses 339 million connected devices in the U.S. As a fraction of the total U.S. installed base, this is equivalent to addressing 32 percent of the audio-visual hardware landscape. “Netflix’s reach is a testament to the company’s unrivalled device strategy,” Kingston said. “The service’s ubiquity turns Netflix into a de facto rival – and on occasion complement – to any other given video offering in the U.S.” The days when a multiscreen pay TV service could uniquely lay claim to a device or platform are effectively gone. Pay TV media apps are virtually guaranteed to sit alongside the Netflix application on consumers’ end devices.

Source: IHS

MacDailyNews Take: $35 for Chromecast vs. $149/$199 for Apple TV.

Apple TV’s lowest price model costs over 4.25 times more than Google’s little dongle. Google ought to be outselling Apple TV at least 4-to-1. But they aren’t.

If you’re a content producer and/or developer, do you want access to the type of customer who’ll spend to own a full-featured Apple TV or the type who’ll settle for $35 dongle? We guess it depends if you’re licensing out Hee Haw reruns or not. 😉

Now, interns, it’s Friday and you know it’s 5 o’clock somewhere. So, why is that keg still NOT TAPPED!!!

(Can’t wait for next Monday – it’s WWDC! – but let’s all enjoy the weekend first, ya hear?!)

Google’s Chromecast widens lead over Apple TV in streaming device market share – March 9, 2016
Gaming shootout: Apple TV vs. Amazon Fire TV – February 10, 2016
New Apple TV has the potential to do for television what iPhone did for mobile phones – September 11, 2015
Apple preps to conquer living room with all-new Apple TV – September 11, 2015
Hands-on with the all-new Apple TV – September 10, 2015
Gruber: Apple TV will define how all TVs will work in a few years – September 10, 2015


  1. Wow! A $35 (or less) Chromecast device outsold a $149 AppleTV by 2 to 1. The laws of human nature have been broken. Apparently, in this world, market share is everything. Apple will never get its due with that sort of reasoning. I’d like to know for what reason exactly market share is so important when there are so many other interrelated factors involved in selling a product.

    1. Look at the low market share of other successful companies who’ve been around for a long time: Ferrari comes to mind. Chevies will outsell them always! Both are good at driving. One of them is more fun, however.

  2. My AppleTVs (4th Gen) almost never get used…

    I don’t even recommend it to people

    No 4K… No Amazon… And a personal email from Mr Cue telling me that 4K viewers couldn’t see the difference and there wasn’t enough 4K content! Ha! Tell that to Roku as I view loads of 4K content on my front projector…. And enjoy the higher resolution….

    I really am frustration by Apples greed and willingness to suck every penny from their loyal followers while providing obsolete products out the door.

    Yes, AppleTVs use of Siri is nice…. What difference does it make when I’m using Roku???

    1. Well aren’t you the dumb ass for buying a product that you hate and that doesn’t suit you needs. Maybe next time try doing a little research, and just stay away from Apple devices; you obviously aren’t worthy of them.

      1. He’s NOT a “dumb ass” in any way for wanting a box that can support the rest of his equipment.

        Apple was (and IS) stupid for not supporting UHDTV (often wrongly referred to as “4K” as 4K is a Digital Cinema standard that has been out for about a dozen years or so). Apple’s AppleTV is the only box in its price range ($199 as MDN points out) that does not support UHDTV.

        UHDTV is noticeably better than HDTV — especially those systems that comply with the Ultra HD Premium standard. Putting a SD TV, HDTV, and a UHDTV (with HDR) side by side (UHDTV in the center and using sources optimized for each) makes it obvious that the UHDTV is far better than either of the other two.

        And, as far as UHDTV content — we’re about where HDTV was about 10 years or so ago, but the uptake on UHDTV is happening at a faster rate than HDTV had. (Most forget that the HDTV push [especially the 1080p variant that is the best] started in the early 1980s but didn’t really start to catch on until about a dozen or so years ago! UHDTV has covered the same ground in less than three years versus HDTV’s 20 years.)

        While I disagree with miyagi1218’s comment that Apple is greedy and has a willingness to “suck every penny from their loyal followers”, I do agree that all too often in the past 4-5 years Apple has been shipping prior generation equipment as if it were the state of the art. Anyone who says this is not true is just not paying attention.

        1. “I do agree that all too often in the past 4-5 years Apple has been shipping prior generation equipment as if it were the state of the art.”

          You nailed the saddest part of Apple’s current state of business given the volume of their resources and holdings.

          Sad … 😐

    2. I can tell the 4K thing is a lot of smoke being blown by the manufacturers, I work for one of the big major studios in hollyweird and right now all of them with the exception of Sony are not mastering their films or tv shows for that matter in 4K. And if you do get 4K content it’s generally 1080p or 2K being up-rezzed to 4K so it’s not true 4K.

    3. Don’t blame Apple for your purchasing mistake. I looked at the specs of the 4G AppleTV and the available gaming Apps and and 4K movies and immediately decided to wait for one more generation. The limitations of the current model were instantly evident when it was released.

  3. There you go, MDN, using simplistic linear math in a vain attempt to show Apple’s failed products to be somehow better than they are.

    The $149 Apple TV is not competing against the cheapest $35 USB sticks from Google. Those sticks from Google or Amazon are merely the gateway to streaming from that company’s store. Apple claims to have many apps and a whole exciting ecosystem to offer. Thus the Apple TV competes against the $99 Roku 3 which was released years ago. The Apple TV can’t hold a candle against the $129 Roku 4 and other devices that are truly capable of being platform-agnostic, offering users media from wherever they wish to purchase it. Oh, but wait … Siri can’t find anything on those services, she keeps trying to tell you that the media you are looking for isn’t available on iTunes. Oh, and there’s no media from Amazon available on Apple TV. Oh, and all the channel apps require you to have subscriptions which, in total, will cost as much or more than a full cable bundle. Suddenly the $150 box isn’t such a great bargain when any laptop will stream your iTunes content to your TV with less video stuffering and crappy interface time wasting.

    Of course, nobody ever writes a critical review of Apple today because they know who the gorilla is and the whole army of unpaid fanboys will attack when faced with legitmate criticism of their beloved fruit company, but ZDnet sneaks in some insights last december in a follow-up interview (in the first, they were only able to say the Apple TV was unfinished and might improve over time):
    “In this column, I’ll revisit my earlier, damning review of the 2015 Apple TV”
    “I still dislike the new remote intensely,”
    “Siri has also not improved. Search is far from universal.”
    “Bluetooth Keyboards still don’t seem to work”
    “…most of the apps are still garbage”
    “do you really want to play games on the Apple TV? I tried a few fully 3D graphical games, and I found a number of consistent characteristics: slow load time, choppy game play, lag, audio glitches, and generally third tier game quality compared to even last generation console games.”

    The bottom line is this:
    – If you’re a gamer, continue enjoying your Playstation or Wii or whatever.
    – If you’re a video streaming service subscriber, Apple TV does nothing that any other device on the market can’t do for $100 or less … if it isn’t already built into your TV.
    – If you want the very best in quality audio and video, then UHD BluRay is here.
    – If you are completely tied to the Apple iTunes ecosystem, then a $50 HDMI adapter (yes, it’s overpriced like all Apple adapters) will stream video from any iPad or iPod just as well if not better than any Apple TV. You Mac will do even better, with a far better iTunes interface and query, plus direct access to online streaming content without having to deal with Apple TV’s kludgy interface and crappy search features.

    I am sorry, but Apple has totally screwed the pooch on the Apple TV because their interest today is driving more iTunes sales / subscriptions instead of offering users a better experience.

    The new Apple under Cook is rotting. Admit it.

    1. I wouldn’t make the argument quite as forcefully as you have, but I agree that Apple has really lost their way with Apple TV. I thought the “new” Apple TV launch was going to reveal an amazing new product. Instead, it’s the same interface as the 720p 2nd generation, but with a hideous remote.

      I have a 2nd Gen Apple TV that hasn’t been used in over a year. Never wanted to pay a premium for a 3rd gen to get 1080p and then wasn’t dazzled by the 4th gen.

      Instead, we’ve bought several Rokus, and a couple Fire TV’s. We could have avoided the Fire TV purchases, but I didn’t want to wait any longer for Sony to release a Playstation Vue client for the Roku. I was eager to cancel our mega-expensive DirecTV subscription.

      Walter Isaacson got us all excited about what Apple would do to revolutionize television. Apparently, Tim’s interpretation of what Steve had “cracked” is an abominable remote.

  4. The best review of TV devices is on cnet:
    Roku vs. Apple TV vs. Chromecast….

    Bottom line is this:
    In the past a review of competing gear would put Apple at the top with price being the primary caveat.

    Those days are long gone I’m afraid.
    Apple TV totally fails to stand out in any meaningful way. It’s just one thing amongst similar things.

    I actually groaned out loud at last year’s Keynote when TC said apps were the future of TV.
    They’re just so *not* the future of TV.
    The future of TV is a UI that gets out of the way and a system that can play what I want, when I want.
    I’m sorry to say that Apple is not the company that’ll bring this into reality.

  5. Don’t know about other sales territories but here in Australia, a Chromecast is frequently given away with the sale of new TVs. So I wonder how many actual and deliberate sales are made and how many are sitting unopened and unused… They often sit in stacks at the checkout of electronics stores as an impulse buy and again I wonder how many actually get set up and used.
    As with the BOGO days of Blackberry sales, and the dearth of any visual confirmation of massive numbers of Android tablets being actually used in public, I suspect the true user market share of Chromecast is vastly overstated. I personally only know a couple of people who have them set up at home whereas I have many friends who have one or several  TVs set up around their home.

    1. You bring up avery valid point that isn’t addressed in these articles. While I haven’t noticed it (where I live in the U.S.), it wouldn’t surprise me to find out it goes on here, too. For the most part, these devices don’t interest me as I have no interest in streaming. I own (lease?), not rent, content.

      There’s no cable where I live… I couldn’t afford it anyway, only DirecTV… which I can’t afford either. We have a refurbed, 2nd gen AppleTV… which is used to access Netflix & Hulu, and get content from our minis (connected to other TVs in the house) to a bedroom TV.

      AFAIC, home theater PCs give you far more & better options than any streaming box.

  6. As usual MDN justifying ATV. ATV is a waste of money unless a gamer it does nothing. Haven’t used either of my v3’s in a year. Netflix is the option. Apple will ALWAYS be more expensive and that isn’t always the best approach for anyone but them. This is why we are beginning to see the tide change with Apple sadly. Subpar products like ATV, OS’s, iPads, Apple Watch. I have many of these and do not see in my daily usage anything spectacular anymore. A company can’t charge for subpar forever.

    1. In the short term (first year pent up demand driven by early adopters), Apple made money thanks to higher prices.
      In the medium term, perhaps 2 more years, Apple’s sales and profits will probably dry up.
      If Apple doesn’t have a competitive product to offer quickly, in the long term the Apple TV will be a money loser. Meanwhile it looks like Amazon, Google, and others will chug along with slimmer TV set-top box profit margins but products that will continue to grow in popularity, and stable profits.

      And that is why Apple stock is in the tank. The last several products were late to market or constrained in rollout. So then we see that initial sales surges for the iPhone 6, Apple Watch, Apple TV4, and MacBook have all rolled off surprisingly fast. Apple’s marketing geniuses are selling uncompetitive products at too high of prices. Not to mention all the stale inventory that Apple should have redesigned 2+ years ago.

  7. There is nothing Premium about the current Apple TV except it’s pricing.
    I recently bought an inexpensive 32″ TCL/Roku TV for less ($160, shipped to my door) than the asking price of the Apple TV. A whole TV for less than the price of the hockey puck.

    I have a current generation Apple TV at home that sits largely unused. The Roku TV interface is not great, but neither is the Apple TV. Other than the DRM content from Apple, there is nothing the Apple TV does for it’s much higher price.

    The Apple TV should be doing 4K at it’s price point.

  8. I have the latest ATV. Bottom line, it just isn’t that good.

    It’s way overpriced and doesn’t do much, and the remote is an ergonomic nightmare.

    It’s more like fashion over function with the ATV.

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