Why you should watch Apple TV sales this season

Checking the temperature

Will you be watching TV coverage as the year changes on your Apple TV? If you do you won’t be alone as there’s strong evidence to suggest the set top box was a big gift in the company cracker this year.

36% Christmas

AppLovin claims Apple TV use climbed 44 percent across Christmas. Not only this but it appears tens of thousands of these things may have been given and received as gifts. “Between December 24th and 26th alone, usage grew by 36 percent,” AppLovin explains.

(I’m not clear if that figure suggests 36 percent increase in comparison to overall Apple TV market share, which I see as around 25 million or more, or specific to the 4G model. I’ve dropped the company a line to request clarification.)

If these figures are a true representation of what’s going on, then the big picture is that Apple appears on track to deliver on JP Morgan prediction that it will ship 24 million fourth-generation Apple TV units in 2016. This is a sizable distribution that should attract more content providers to the platform, enabling the company to extend the ecosystem.


However, while it’s interesting to get a fix on Apple TV sales, such information is meaningless if customers aren’t satisfied with what they’ve got. The good news here is they seem to be pretty pleased, according to data analytics company, Zoral Labs’ new Twitter sentiment analysis tool, HappyGrumpy.com.

Apple will be pleased to see a positive spike in consumer sentiment around Apple TV, particularly after Christmas Day when AppLovin identified millions of new units went online. As you can see the Twitter sentiment analysis data suggests satisfaction climbed consistently since then.

Not only this, but Apple’s set top box appears to be generating a high level of emotional connection. That’s particularly important at this stage, as that kind of emotional link is what enables the extension of the surrounding product ecosystem – from apps to channels to services.

Beyond TV

Apple TV isn’t the only highlight of the season. Apple Watch, iPhone and iPad were also popular. Flurry notes Apple products accounted for 49.1 percent of all new device activations with Samsung a far second with just 19.8 percent share.

That’s a strong performance, though the company grabbed 51.3 percent of all new device activations in the same (Christmas) period last year.

“More and more, consumers are gravitating toward the large screen of phablets and it looks like this once-derided form-factor appears here to stay,” Flurry states in its full report.

The iPhone also seems to have held its own. Apple accounted for six of the ten biggest-selling handsets in the UK in 2015, according to uSwitch.com. The top four models are all Apple -- the 16GB iPhone 6, iPhone 5S and the 64GB iPhone 6. Despite only being available a few weeks, the iPhone 6S sits in fourth place. Samsung is the only other manufacturer to make the list.

Rob Kerr, mobiles expert at uSwitch.com, said: “Apple’s authority in the UK mobile market is unrivalled. It’s the only manufacturer that can still attract queues days ahead of its major launches. It even makes Samsung look like a perennial underachiever.

Apple’s other product, the Apple Watch, remains a strong contender according to IBM Watson Trend, where the product remains the top trending device. However, pre-Christmas claims the company intends launching the next iteration of the device in March may have taken the edge of sales – though IDC remains pretty confident in the long-term outlook for the device.

Toward Q1

Summing up, numerous data points from a variety of sources seem to suggest yet another strong quarter for the company, we’ll find out just how successful it has been in January during the company’s Q1 fiscal call.

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Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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