Apple Grows to Third-Largest STB Vendor

From ninth place in 2014, Apple surged in global set-top box revenue to reach third place in 2015, according to IHS. STB growth last year came from a strong increase in consumer retail OTT box sales and the consolidation of some of the largest players (Arris acquiring Pace and Technicolor taking Cisco’s STB division).

More than 10 million Apple TV boxes were sold last year – the fifth-highest result in vendor terms, behind Arris, Technicolor, Skyworth and ZTE. Daniel Simmons of IHS said, “The STB market has certainly grown since 2007, when Steve Jobs originally described the Apple TV business line as a ‘hobby.’ 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.”

Global STB shipments rose 4.8% YoY in 2015, ending the year at 353 million units. This was mainly boosted by IPTV growth in China; telcos in the country are pushing IPTV services to generate returns on their FTTH investments. Revenue grew 3.4% QoQ in Q4’15, to $5.7 billion. New product launches by Apple, Amazon and Roku were partly responsible for this increase. However, overall revenue for the year fell 5.4%, to $22.2 billion, due to lower demand for premium STBs in North America. This was mainly due to poor pay-TV performance in the region.