Steve Jobs’ “hobby” is starting to get some traction. Google TV, not so much.
In a slightly premature press release timed perhaps to goose some last-minute Christmas purchases, Apple (AAPL) announced Tuesday that it expects sales of its $99 Apple TV set-top unit to top 1 million this week. That word comes on top of Steve Jobs’ announcement that Apple had sold 250,000 as of Oct. 18.
Apple was not as forthcoming with sales numbers for the device’s predecessor, a considerably more expensive proposition that came with a built-in hard drive for storing TV shows, movies, songs, photos, etc.
The new Apple TV is strictly for streaming — from iTunes and other sources, such as Netflix (AAPL), Flickr and YouTube. The same press release included some hitherto unreleased iTunes numbers:
- 400,000 TV episodes rented or purchased per day
- 150,000 movies rented or purchased per day
As TUAW‘s Michael Rose points out, it’s not clear whether all those transactions involve an Apple TV or not. His guess is “not,” and unless we hear otherwise we’re inclined to agree.
Meanwhile Google (GOOG), stung according to the
New York Times
by bad reviews, has asked TV manufacturers to cancel the launches of sets running Google TV software that were scheduled for the big Consumer Electronics Show in January.
Roku, which makes streaming devices similar to Apple’s, is having better luck. Its sales have doubled since the debut of Apple TV, according to a report in Business Insider, and are on track to pass 1 million before the end of the year.
Below: The text of Apple’s press release.
[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]