appletvApple TV shipments hit 10 million worldwide last year, propelling Apple into the top five set-top box (STB) manufacturers worldwide, according to IHS. Apple ranked fifth in terms of manufacturing volume trailing Arris, Technicolor, Skyworth and ZTE, according to new market research from IHS.

Steve Jobs described Apple TV as a company ¨hobby¨ back in 2007 when Apple entered the business, IHS notes in a press release. The market, and Apple’s involvement, has increased significantly since.

“Now we’re seeing sales of Apple’s consumer devices in the millions, which has catapulted the company ahead of leading STB manufacturers that ship to pay-TV providers. Apple TV’s particular success is a result of translating consumption habits from across Apple’s wider device ecosystem onto the TV screen,¨ Daniel Simmons, director of connected home for IHS Technology, was quoted.

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Apple TV Shipments
Overall, global STB shipments rose 4.8 percent year-over-year (YoY) in 2015 to total 353 million units, according to IHS’s latest “Set-Top Box Intelligence Market Monitor.” Growth in demand for IPTV services in China fueled the rise as China’s telecom providers look to realize returns on FTTH investments.

Global market revenue rose 3.4 percent quarterly to reach $5.7 billion in 4Q15. Introduction of a new generation of STBs by Amazon, Apple and Roku contributed to growth and to Apple TV shipments hitting the 10 million mark.

Total market revenue for 2015 dropped 5.4 percent to $22.2 billion, however. Slowing demand for high-value STBs in North America contributed as pay-TV providers struggled, according to IHS.

“The new positioning of Apple at the top of the set-top box market reflects several trends,” Simmons said. “Pay-TV specific set-top boxes are becoming less important for consumers to access premium content, because Netflix, HBO Go and other OTT video platforms now offer top-tier content to retail OTT STBs.

“As retail STBs have grown in the market, traditional pay-TV set-top vendors have been forced to re-position themselves, with significant consolidation at the top of the market, diversification toward software and services in the middle, and low-end vendors moving toward broader volume.”

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