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Apple TV popularity drops ahead of long-awaited revamp

Yearly sales of the Apple TV have dropped to fourth place, behind rival TV streaming devices from Google, Amazon and Roku.

According to sales estimates from the last year, Amazon and its increasingly popular Fire TV Stick has risen to third place, with the Apple TV languishing in fourth with just 13% of sales in the sector. Google’s Chromecast is second, with various devices from Roku ruling the TV streaming roost.

Despite falling sales figures, cumulatively the Apple TV is still the most-owned streaming device worldwide, having sold around 25 million units since its release.

The Apple TV has not had an update since 2012, with rumors of a new device surfacing before practically every major keynote of the last few years. To say a new Apple TV is long-awaited is an understatement – and amidst declining sales, now could be the perfect time for a product refresh.

John Paczkowski from Buzzfeed News anticipates a big overhaul to the set-top box: as well as much-improved technical specs and an updated interface, we could be in for a completely redesigned touch-pad remote, Siri and HomeKit compatibility and a TV-specific App Store.

Steaming media boxes are expected to become a bigger and bigger market over the next few years, and a new Apple TV could help usher in that era. Apple already has an exclusive deal in place with HBO Now, and is working on the necessary contracts to release its own cable-cutting streaming service.

It’s widely expected that Apple TV will be unveiled at a big Apple event next month, alongside the iPhone 6S. For real this time.

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