In what many have dubbed "the battle for the living room" the Apple TV seems to be getting a foothold. In the just ended quarter, Apple sold 1.3 million Apple TV boxes, surpassing Microsoft's sales of 1.1 million of Xbox 360s.
Apple TV gaining on Xbox 360
At first it might seem like an odd comparison but industry watchers have shifted focus to the next battleground that the internet could potentially turn upside down; the living room. Microsoft has increasingly tried to position the Xbox 360 as a video and music center, besides the gaming capabilities. Apple has taken a different approach and focused on video and music from the beginning, and later added support for games (via AirPlay) and other content.
The user interface on the Apple TV box
In the most recent quarter, Apple sold 1.3 million Apple TV boxes and Microsoft sold 1.1 million Xbox 360 consoles. Microsoft experienced a significant decline whereas Apple experienced a 170 % increase year-over-year. If the entire lifespan of the devices is taken into consideration the Xbox 360 wins by a huge margin, however. The Xbox 360 has also been on the market for many years so it is not a surprise that sales are declining. As for the PlayStation 3, which Sony also has tried to position as a video streaming console, sales from the previous quarter were higher but Sony has not released sales figures for the most recent quarter.
Microsoft wants to make the Xbox 360 a complete living room entertainment center
Apple CEO, Tim Cook, still calls the Apple TV a hobby but says that Apple sees a huge potential in the Apple TV product. Apple is also said to be preparing a launch of an Apple HDTV but this remains a rumor.
Microsoft is expected to launch the Xbox 720 within a few years. The Apple TV box will be updated later this year with iOS 6 that adds, amongst other things, a new AirPlay feature, enabling users to stream audio from movies and TV shows wirelessly to external speakers.