Chromecast shipments surpass Apple TV for the first time: IHS

Research firm IHS said yesterday that an analysis of connected devices in the first quarter of 2016 saw Chromecast surpass Apple TV in terms of sales for the first time. IHS said Apple TV managed to ship in the region of 1.7 million units during Q1 of 2016, which was eclipsed by Google's Chromecast with as many as 3.2 million units being shipped during the same period.

While this was the first quarter in which Chromecast had been seen to be outselling Apple TV by IHS, the firm said ''we anticipate that this reversal will persist.''

According to commentators, one of the reasons for the expected dominance in this particular market was that it offered great value for money, especially when compared to the likes of Apple TV which retailed for $149.

Google has priced Chromecast at $35 since its introduction in 2013, when the popular bare-bones device spurred a wave of imitators. But last year, Apple upgraded its Apple TV for the first time in three years, and the company boosted its starting price to $149 from $99.

Chromecast, which goes for $35 a pop, is a key part of Google's media and home products strategy. But Cast, along with Apple TV, suffers from a big blockade in distribution: Amazon booted both devices from its store in October, and it hasn't changed its mind.

Another aspect on which IHS focused was that Apple TV was geared more towards ''Apple's singular user-interface,'' they said. As against this, Chromecast offered a far more user-friendly and across the board experience and one which ''obviates the very need for a user-interface''.

IHS also said video-streaming service Netflix was on 339 million connected devices in the US at the end of last year. That means it's hitting 32 per cent of all gadgets capable of watching video.

"The service's ubiquity turns Netflix into a de facto rival - and on occasion complement - to any other given video offering in the US," said Merrick Kingston, IHS' principal analyst for connected home technology.