updated 09:40 am EST, Tue December 21, 2010
New Apple TV off to fast start, to hit 1 million
Apple on Tuesday said that the new Apple TV would reach the one million sales mark by "later this week," or just before Christmas. It added that video downloads were also climbing and that viewers were either buying or renting 150,000 movies and 400,000 TV shows every day. Sales weren't broken down by the country or given a motivating factor.
The lower $99 asking price and the inclusion of Netflix have often been associated with improving the Apple TV's stance compared to the $229, iTunes-focused original model.
The sales result marks an acceleration of growth for the media hub, which topped 250,000 in three weeks and has only had about two months to move the rest. The rate equate to about 375,000 units every month since late October.
The sales figures are very small compared to multi-role devices where video is a strong component, such as game consoles. Microsoft sold 1.37 million Xbox 360s just in November alone and thus has a much larger potential footprint, although it's unclear how many of its users actually either download from the Zune Video Marketplace or stream through Netflix. About 42 percent of Xbox Live Gold users watch an hour per day.
The sales rate is nonetheless quicker than for virtually all of Apple's dedicated competitors. Roku will reach one million at roughly the same time as Apple but has been selling its Player lines since 2008. Most of its low sales have been attributed both to its Internet-only sales and relatively limited marketing, although it has recently addressed the retail problem with a Netgear-branded XD player. Boxee and other competitors are either too new to have provided substantial figures or have never come close to the figures touted by Apple and Roku.