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Apple TV sales inch ahead, AirPort loses ground

updated 11:30 am EST, Thu December 31, 2009

Apple TV 3.0 and price cut accomplish little

Most of Apple's networking peripherals sold only adequately during 2009, according to data from the NPD Group. The firm notes that Apple TV sales were up less than 10 percent in 2009, continuing a lethargic trend that emerged in 2008. The product has not been helped materially by the release of the Apple TV 3.0 firmware -- adding features like Internet radio -- or a price cut down to $229.

The Apple TV has regularly been considered overdue for a hardware upgrade by analysts, as it is incapable of 1080p video, and its 160GB storage capacity is considered underwhelming. The device could also potentially be given a motion-sensitive remote, and support for subscription TV services. More radical predictions have called for a TV tuner and/or DVR functions.

Apple's AirPort base stations are meanwhile said to have lost "a little bit of share" during the past year, although they still rank fifth in the wireless market behind Linksys, Belkin, D-Link and Netgear. The AirPort Express in particular is described as slowing down in terms of unit volume. NPD's VP of industry analysis, Stephen Baker, suggests that AirPort products may be too expensive compared to other options.

The Time Machine is said to be doing comparatively well however, and in fact represent one of the market leaders in network-attached storage. The one problem with sales is said to be the relative unimportance of NAS. "Consumer NAS is a minuscule marketplace compared to external hard drives for consumers," says Baker. "So it's the big fish in a very small pond."

by MacNN Staff



  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Wont buy one until...

    It has a 1TB drive which can be shared and used by my Mac
    It has Comp out for TVs that are not HiDef
    It has Blu Ray Drive inside of it
    It has a HDTV Tunner and PVR function
    It can do 1080P

    If it had all that and ended up being $450 bucks I would still buy it, but as is now with its limitations even if it was $100.00 I wouldn't buy it. In the last week I've help setup Mac Mini's for a few friends to use as TV computers and the setups are costing 800-1000 so its not a price issue. People are willing to pay its a feature and limitation issue.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's about time

    500GB SATA wholesales for under $70

    At this price, 1GB (2.5", 5200RPM) wouldn't hurt.

    Blu-Ray is a dead product. SD will take over before you know it.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Firmware 3.0

    One of the most obvious "features" of firmware 3.0 is extreme lag when you try to do *anything*. Not impressed.

    Also, you can't download AppleTV firmware in one location and bring it to an offline site to install, so my parents, who live out in the sticks with a crappy modem connection, are still forced to use firmware 1.0. The AppleTV can only install firmware directly from the internet, not from a locally cached version on the synced computers or anything potentially useful like that.

    Oh, and still no music visualizer after all this time? Who do I gotta kill to get a music visualizer?

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    500GB 2.5" for $70 or less, by the way

    7200RPM, too.

  1. msuper69

    Joined: Dec 1969


    The Time Machine...

    Time Capsule you ninny!

  1. bluejammm

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I LOVE my Apple TV

    What a bunch of whiners.
    Yes, there are improvements to be made and I hope they will be. Right now, it does everything I like it to do for only 200 bucks. Apple has not marketed this fine accessory as they should.
    ATV displays my photos clearly, plays my music and videos via optical out, crystal clear podcasts, allows me to rent and buy and listen to CD quality internet radio, all through my 5.1 AVR and HDTV. All from the couch. I have also found 160 Gb to be plenty, but then, I don't buy many movies.
    Athens, you want 1080P and all this other s*** and you want to connect via composite? Jeesh!

  1. jnicholas

    Joined: Dec 1969


    comment title

    I'm fairly happy with my AppleTV since the 3.0 update. My only problem would be the weird lag in response, sometimes it stops responding for several seconds then suddenly does all the clicks that happened while it wasn't responding.

    I'd love to see a way for others to add their own channels like the way the youtube channels works. Something like the new Roku channels would work great. I'd also like to see a way to bookmark favorite radio stations easier. An AppleTV app store would be great for things like that or even for simple similar to Dashboard widgets.

    The typical complaints around blu-ray or storage don't matter much to me. I have a PS3 that handles blu-ray and netflix and I have a DVR already. Even the drive size doesn't matter too much since I stream from the Mac anyway.

  1. byRyan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I got an apple tv on Black Friday.

    Its cool, but all its top links point to iTunes content. seams to me like its just a sales app for its stores. They should lower the price and let more people buy it, and then you will find more people buying and renting movies from the store!!

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Keep in mind these are just analyst numbers. We won't know how sales actually are since Apple hides them on their earnings reports (under iPod peripherals, I believe, along with cables, docks, etc).

    And how many of those Time Capsules are replacements for just over 1 year units that are dying all over the place?

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