updated 02:20 pm EST, Mon December 17, 2007
Apple TV in the lead
The new breed of retail-based internet video delivery devices which has emerged over the last few years is currently led by Apple's set top box -- Apple TV -- according to a new study by ABI Research. What's more, the firm says devices like Apple TV will see shipments of 1.2 million next year. Apple unveiled its wireless media streaming device on September 12th of 2006 during a special event in San Francisco. The device has seen limited success since it began shipping on March 21st of this year, and Apple has turned most of its attention to other areas -- primarily its iPhone cellular handset.
"Since this category first emerged in 2004-2005 with the debut of Akimbo's public Internet VOD product, vendors of these products have struggled with a number of hurdles that have so far made this market relatively unsuccessful," said ABI research director Michael Wolf. "The high cost of these devices, their reliance on the home network, the need for consumer self-installation, and the scarcity of content have all contributed to their lack of commercial success."
Two factors remain that could bring hope to the Apple TV and its competitors, according to ABI. Early examples of set top boxes lacked significant amounts of content -- Apple shipped the Apple TV with what has been called "a handful" of TV shows available to customers -- while a growing desire for user-generated and professionally produced content on the internet could spur greater demand for Apple's device.