1.3 million Apple TV units sold, still considered a hobby?

1.3 million Apple TV units sold, still considered a hobby?

During Apple's Q3 conference call today Apple announced that they had sold 1.3 million Apple TVs for a total of 4 million. This figure is up 173% from last quarter even though many are still considering the Apple TV to be a hobby device.

The Apple TV, which got updated with support for full 1080p this year, has made its way into many homes so far but still doesn't have the market penetration Apple's other product lines do. When asked why Apple would produce a hobby device for the sake of hobbies, Cook responded that he doesn't think the numbers are insignificant unless compared to other iOS devices.

Do it because they think it will lead them somewhere. 4 million isn't small, just small compared to iOS devices. Lots of believers.

The first generation Apple TV was anything but a huge success. It wasn't until the 2nd generation Apple TV came out that people seemed to start taking it as a serious contender when it came to content consumption. If you compare the current and 2nd generation Apple TV to other contenders like Roku, the numbers look better. Apple managed to sell a little over 2 million Apple TV units last year while their competitors managed to just hit the 1.5 million mark before year's end.

Of course these numbers won't stack up to devices such as the iPhone and iPad which have a much larger market but compared to other competitors in the industry, the Apple TV seems to be holding its ground rather well.

As content becomes more readily available online, it will be interesting to see if Apple expands what is available for purchase or streaming on the Apple TV. How many of you have one or more Apple TVs in your home currently? If not, do you use something else?

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

1.3 million Apple TV units sold, still considered a hobby?


At this point, I'm starting to consider "hobby" an excuse.

I think it has done well, don't get me wrong, but hobby seems like an out; maybe because they are incapable of making it a great device, where right now I consider it just good...not great.

(for the trolls, yes...I have an Apple TV so I'm not speaking from afar)

Apple must be saving the "great" for their TV set. Apple TV doesn't need to be great at $99. A full-blown TV set will need to be great for what, $2000 maybe?

I doubt it. They aren't capable of doing it, IMHO. By that I don't mean just the tech but content as well.

Their monitors are $999+...I'd say a minimum of 2k but prob more.

I have two of them. I like the way it integrates with other iOS devices. We need more content.

Hobby is a bad word to describe what is going on with the apple tv, the only person I know who has one finds it a useful device, but clearly as you point out, it's not selling compared to what ipod, iphone, and ipad sell. In a down quarter for iphones, Apple still sold 6 times as many iphones this quarter as all the Apple tvs since launch. All apple tv sales combined is just a drop in their revenue bucket.

Apple sold more Apple TVs last quarter than Microsoft sold Xbox 360s.
Microsoft sold just 1.1 million Xbox 360s worldwide last quarter.

I wonder if Microsoft thinks Xbox is "just a hobby" too.

We have two Apple TVs at home - both 2nd generation. We use it mainly for Netflix and music. I've started using it for movies more now that movies in the cloud is available but a lot of titles aren't yet available which needs to change.

While I think it's getting better, it isn't perfect. Apple is going to have to add more services to round it out. While I'm dreaming, I wish channels like Showtime and HBO would partner with them to have a la carte premium channels available for streaming. But the bureaucracy and politics with the cable providers will never let that happen (at least not in the near future). We rarely turn on the actual TV anymore except for premium channels. Adding other services would round out our experience and actually make it a device that's worth while. For now we've got a Roku as well for Amazon Instant and Hulu.

I agree. It would be great to see "apps" like HBO GO or SHO GO, as well as other tv network channels. Even with commercials, it would still be nice to have an a la carte menu.

I'm a bit disappointed that it seems neither Apple or the folks here, so far, seem to see the Apple TV as more than a set-top-box [TV] (limited compared to the competition). With AirPlay it allows an iPad to be a perfect presentation device, and now with Mt. Lion coming, opens that up for OSX as well. If Apple made a few tweaks to it (analog out and wifi router), it would sell like hot-cakes in business and schools (which, I'll already bet make up a nice percentage of the sales).

But, even as a set-top box, if AirPlay works well with Mt Lion, I'll certainly be getting one for the home-entertainment center. Who cares how many services it links to if I can stream anything from my OSX or iOS devices to it?

The problem, IMO, is partly that Apple probably IS looking at it as a content-sales-driver and solely as a set-top-box that is leading to their seeing it as a hobby. If they thought 'outside the box' a bit more, I think it could really be more of a killer device than it already is.

i think what is holding the apple tv back is the cable companies. the apple tv already offers plenty in netflix, MLB, NHL, and NBA tv but cant access apps like HBOgo or watch espn. which would make it a killer in the market cause at 99 bucks thats cheaper than most peoples cable bills. i myself have cut out all my cable because all we do it watch netflix on the apple tv or download movies from it. i really hope the rumors about apple being able to get espn content on the apple tv are true. that would let me tell my cable company deuces