Joshua Schnell, May 1, 2012
The Google television may never have gotten off the ground, and the Apple TV may be Apple’s only solution to revolutionizing the television, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t connecting their televisions to the Internet these days. In a study conducted by Allied Business Intelligence, the research team found that only 21 percent of households have connected their telelvisions to the Internet through Internet TVs, Blu-ray players, or smart set-top boxes like the Apple TV or Roku.
That number is expected to double by 2017:
[quote]At least 21% of US households have either an Internet-ready TV, game console, standalone Blu-ray player, and/or smart set-top box connected to their home network … Looking out to 2017, the penetration rates are expected to exceed 60% for game consoles, TVs, and Blu-ray players, and while not all of these devices will be connected, there is certainly room for growth, as only 48.5% of consumers with a home network currently have one of these devices connected to the Internet.[/quote]
This news surprises for two reasons: first, 21 percent of people connecting their televisions to the Internet is a pretty big deal considering Nielsen has estimated that 114.7 million homes have televisions in the US. That puts the number of connected TVs around 22.9 million homes; second, less than half of customers with a home network have connected their televisions to the web.
Considering Apple has just reported that they sold 35.1 million iPhones in the March quarter of 2012, and another 11.8 million iPads, it’s pretty obvious why Apple is still viewing the Apple TV and Internet connected television markets as a bit of hobby. While the market size is increasing, an entire US market of just 22 million potential customers may not be big enough for Apple to tackle the Internet television market. Given the rate people upgrade televisions, and the limited market, it’s hard to see how Apple could turn the industry on its head and rake in iPhone like profits.Follow @macgasm