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Is Apple TV a success? Compared to Tivo, it certainly is

Chuq beats me to the gun with a humdinger of a post comparing sales of Apple TV with those of Tivo:

“For the quarter ending October 31, TiVo recorded 69,000 new subscriptions (down from 101,000 year previous); they lost 65,000 subscriptions, giving them a net increase in units added to the install base for the quarter of — 4,000. That’s 1,350 a month, or 2% of what Apple TV sold.

At a gross level, TiVO is selling as many units in a quarter as Apple TV is selling in a month, so Apple is outselling TiVo about 3X. In practice, since Apple TV is a new product, 100% of those units are increases in the installed base, while TiVo is effectively standing still. In raw unit sales, it’ll take Apple about 5 years at the current sale rate to match TiVo’s 4.1 million active users — but the first TiVO shipping in 1999, so it took Tivo 8 years to reach that number.”

Don’t count Apple TV out. While I decided not to get one, in favour of getting a Mac mini and putting together a custom system, for a lot of people it’s a perfectly good option.

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