All the press given to smart phones and their ability to connect us to the internet has given short shrift to the fastest growing segment of this "internet everywhere" revolution, internet-enabled living room devices. To be sure, the mobile segment is changing our lives forever in more impactful ways, but for pure entertainment purposes this modernization of the living room shouldn't be ignored.
According to iSuppli.com the numbers speak for themselves. Projections for internet-enabled living room devices such as TVs, Blu-ray players, game consoles, and set top boxes are at 430 million by 2014. Compare that to 99.3 million last year. That's a compound annual growth rate of just over 34%. That's much faster growth than smart phones at around 22%.
Now you see why the release of the new Apple TV was so important. They have a good chance of taking the lead in this fast growing segment.
The challenge for Apple is that their device is a stand alone set top box. Other internet-enabling is being built in to TVs, game consoles and Blu-ray players. Buy a new TV and chances are you've got internet connectivity.
The key is content. Whoever strikes the best deal with content providers to offer the richest array of choices has the better shot at the lead.
Speaking of which, I got my Hulu preview invite and will be talking about it next time. Stay tuned.
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