It looks as though Apple could have a minor, at least by its standards, hit on its hands with the new Apple TV. Whether the admittedly-impressive early sales figures will continue in the longterm remains to be seen, especially with Google TV on the horizon.
Apple TV Rebooted
Apple was one of the first major tech companies to realize the potential of bringing online video into the living room. Unfortunately, its first attempt at providing the hardware to make this possible didn’t really take off in a big way, eventually leading to Apple CEO Steve Jobs reclassifying Apple TV as “a hobby.”
However, after going back to the drawing board Apple saw fit to try again, and Apple TV 2.0 was born.
The new Apple TV is smaller, cheaper, and built along different lines. Gone is the hard drive, replaced by a flash memory drive designed to deliver streaming content from the cloud. So, very different, but better? And more importantly, more appealing to mainstream consumers?
Impressive Sales Figures
JMP Research analyst Alex Gauna states that the new Apple TV has sold out in stores across the U.S. He believes the $99 price tag “is resonating with consumers.” Consequently, the Apple TV is estimated to be selling at a rate of around 1 million units per quarter.
While that doesn’t compare to Apple’s other big launch of 2010, the iPad, which is selling around 4.5 million units per quarter, it’s impressive nonetheless. That is if it continues beyond the first couple of months.
All Apple products sell well initially because of the number of fans the company has. Apple also aids this demand by running supplies short. So I’d reserve judgment for a couple more months.
Having said that, Apple TV has probably moved beyond the realms of ‘hobby’ and is now a legitimate Apple product that the company will invest in heavily moving forward. Which sets up what could potentially be the mother of all battles with Google TV, launching in the coming months.