Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
55,508
17,859



Speaking at the inaugural Code/Media event held by technology website Re/code (via CNET), Roku CEO and founder Anthony Wood called the Apple TV "a money loser" for Apple, likening the product to an accessory for the iPad and questioning why Apple would want to sell more units of the device. Wood's remarks come as Apple is said to be preparing a new version of the Apple TV that will integrate with Comcast's network to enable a streaming TV service for users.
"Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple," he said Thursday, speaking at the Recode conference here. "If you're losing money, why would you want to sell more?"
apple_tv_roku_3-800x207.jpg
Wood also commented on Amazon's upcoming set-top box debuting next month, as well as overall competition in the set-top media box market:
"Every year about this time, the Amazon box comes up that they're about to launch. And the new Apple TV is about to launch ... We've been competing with Apple TV for six years now, and every year, we've grown," Wood told Kafka. "We're in the TV platform business. Our goal is to be the operating system for TV."
The CEO also went on to tell the crowd that sales of the Roku doubled after Apple dropped the price of the Apple TV from $249 to $99 two years ago. Wood's comments are notable given that the Apple TV reportedly generated $1 billion last year, which was revealed by Apple CEO Tim Cook during the company's 2014 shareholder's meeting.

Roku refreshed its set-top box line with three new models joining its flagship Roku 3 last September, and also introduced a $50 HDMI streaming-stick to compete directly with Google's Chromecast and the Apple TV. Despite the Apple TV's growing popularity, however, a report last August from Parks Associates indicated that the Roku has proven to be more popular than Apple's set top box, as 14% of U.S. broadband households were said to be using streaming media boxes.

Apple is expected to launch a new Apple TV sometime in the near future, with some rumors pointed to a refined set-top box that may include gaming and cable box-like capabilities in addition to the aforementioned streaming TV integration.

A report from The Information
also added details to the forthcoming device, claiming that it will feature a dramatically overhauled interface, which will blend TV listings with apps and video from the web, with Apple asking iOS game developers to make their titles compatible with its new product so that users can play games on their TV using iOS devices as controllers.

Article Link: Roku CEO Calls Apple TV a 'Money Loser', Says Product is 'Essentially' an Accessory for iPad
 

IscariotJ

macrumors 6502a
Jan 13, 2004
637
64
UK
An accessory for the iPad? About the only time I use the iPad ( or iPhone ) with the ATV, is when the remote goes missing....
 

Unggoy Murderer

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2011
654
1,865
Edinburgh, UK
I bought an Apple TV for my parents, and they love it. £99 for the device then £5.99 on Netflix a month for a good selection of TV programmes and movies is a pretty good deal to me. I have only ever used AirPlay once with my iPad.

Remember how 64bit phones were a marketing gimmick...?
 

544263

Suspended
Feb 24, 2011
227
264
apple tv was there for years. i didn't even know roku existed. if it was so great, we should have heard about it, no?
 

beanbaguk

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2014
947
1,496
Europe
Seeing as I've had my Apple TV (3) for about 2 years now and I've only ever connected it to my iPad for Spotify, I don't know how Roku base their arguments.

Both are excellent platforms but clearly ATV complements an Apple eco-system if that's what you have so all this talk is pretty petite company spoke's person banter.
 

irnchriz

macrumors 65816
May 2, 2005
1,034
2
Scotland
I have 3 Apple TV's and 0 Roku boxes. I also have an ever growing library of TV shows and Movies in my iTunes. All that matched with Airplay from my MacBooks and iOS devices makes the Apple TV invaluable.

Even looking rationally at the comment itself, "Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple,"

A) I seriously doubt Apple lose any money on the Apple TV costs.
B) An accessory for iPad? Works with iPhones too and aren't their like 500 million of them out there? along with tens of millions of iPads. Nice market to cater for.

This all sounds like the final ramblings of a company about to go out of business when Amazon launch their set top box.
 

Frizers

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2013
105
11
I'm going to make myself really unpopular here and say that if you're not using the apple tv for airplay then there are probably plenty of cheaper, more functional alternatives.

(bear in mind in the UK they cost around $165, not $99, therefore the case is better for the apple tv in US)
 

VirusKiller

macrumors newbie
Mar 28, 2014
1
0
Roku is currently a better platform IMO, but their CEO is clearly anticipating ATV gaming, which will blow Roku out of the water.
 

MonkeySee....

macrumors 68040
Sep 24, 2010
3,858
435
UK
Oh good! I enjoy it when someone comes out and criticizes a product when its not yet found its feet.

I look forward to this guys opinion when the AppStore comes to AppleTV.
 
Last edited:

Jibbajabba

macrumors 65816
Aug 13, 2011
1,017
2
Apple TV was great when it had a harddrive to be honest. Now its just a media extender on steoroids .. my "tivo" (Or UK equivalent) can do what Apple TV does. It does Airplay (ok, my amp does), Netflix, all other channels relevant. But with my "tivo" I don't need another PC running iTunes with my library .. I "could" copy the stuff if needed or stream if required .. So for that sort of price (£99 here in the UK) you get other devices with a better value.
 

lk400

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
817
317
Insecure much?
I have no idea about his product - I believe it's not available in my country.
Yet I use my Apple TVs every single day, and purchase a bunch of content through them. That's why they make them, Roku CEO.

Also I don't have an iPad. So not sure how his comment makes any sense.
 

Tankmaze

macrumors 68000
Mar 7, 2012
1,692
329
Any headlines that attack Apple only gain attention, but not credibility.
This guy has no credibility at all. probably with this headline could help him sell 3 units of roku.
 

Brandon263

macrumors 6502
Sep 12, 2009
398
31
Beaumont, CA
The word "Roku" is on the front page, and now we are comparing and talking about them when we weren't before.


I was asking why Roku chooses to name and disparage Apple TV if they believe that their products are the best. You don't hear Apple naming the Galaxy S4 or S5 in its ads.
 

jontech

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2010
438
170
Hawaii
I've heard of these little roku devices. The mates over at slickdeals love these things when they can pick one up one for cheap

I wish them the best of luck
 

Menneisyys2

macrumors 603
Jun 7, 2011
5,626
429
An accessory for the iPad? About the only time I use the iPad ( or iPhone ) with the ATV, is when the remote goes missing....

He meant AirPlay video streaming / screen mirroring, as Apple doesn't offer other AirPlay receivers with HDMI output.

Of course, what he stated is only half of the truth as the ATV can be used with iPhones / (newer) MB's too for streaming, not only iPads - and, of course, as a self-standing Internet video streamer too without any kind of local iDevices / MB's as a controller / video / mirrored screen source.

----------

I'm going to make myself really unpopular here and say that if you're not using the apple tv for airplay then there are probably plenty of cheaper, more functional alternatives.

Depends on whether you've purchased stuff in the iTunes Store. If you have and don't want to store those movies locally, then, the ATV is decent. If you don't (and don't want to use AirPlay), then, there are indeed cheaper / better alternatives, particularly if you're a subscriber of other video streaming services.
 

lk400

macrumors 6502a
Aug 26, 2012
817
317
He meant AirPlay video streaming / screen mirroring, as Apple doesn't offer other AirPlay receivers with HDMI output.

Of course, what he stated is only half of the truth as the ATV can be used with iPhones / (newer) MB's too for streaming, not only iPads - and, of course, as a self-standing Internet video streamer too without any kind of local iDevices / MB's as a controller / video / mirrored screen source.

----------



Depends on whether you've purchased stuff in the iTunes Store. If you have and don't want to store those movies locally, then, the ATV is decent. If you don't (and don't want to use AirPlay), then, there are indeed cheaper / better alternatives, particularly if you're a subscriber of other video streaming services.

Pretty great on an iMac with mavericks in a dual screen setup too
 

irDigital0l

Guest
Dec 7, 2010
2,901
0
He's just foreshadowing what is bound to happen.

When Amazon and Apple release their new TVs this year, Roku is gonna hurt.
 

beanbaguk

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2014
947
1,496
Europe
One more interesting point from my angle.

While the ATV may be an accessory for iOS devices, the CEO of Roku should note quite how many people have iOS devices.....millions.

Plus have you tried to type a password on a Roku device?! What a PITFA!

I do own a Roku device through a Now TV box from Sky. It costs just £10 and allows me to stream BBC iPlayer along with ITV, C4 and others in the UK.

But, having said all that, I can do exactly the same with my iOS ATV set-up and type in searches much quicker.

They have their pro's and con's but ultimately I think the ATV is a far more powerful product.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.