Is Apple TV going anywhere?
Based on the company’s current strategy, the worldwide installed base of Apple TV devices will be 22.7 million at the end of 2014 and 73.4 million by the end of 2018. Sound OK? Well, not really when you realize that the installed base of tablets at the end of this year will be 427 million, rising to over 1 billion by the end of 2018.
Here are a couple of other trends that put Apple TV in perspective: smartphones and tablets are now the fastest-growing means of accessing and consuming internet TV content, accounting for 54% of program requests for the BBC’s iPlayer service in February 2014 – up from just 17% in January 2012 (in comparison, smart TV sets, gaming consoles and connected Blu-ray players hardly register). Meanwhile, the number of OTT service accounts is sky-rocketing, from nearly 600 million at the end of 2014 to what we project will be over 1.4 billion by the end of 2018.
With those numbers as a backdrop, Apple TV now seems to be moving at a glacial pace. But more than that, it also seems that Apple TV is developing in a vacuum or, to put it another way, it is heading in a direction that is orthogonal to the wider market.