Roku CEO Anthony Wood isn’t worried about rumors of an updated Apple TV. At Re/code’s Code/Media conference, he described Apple TV as an iPad accessory and claimed that it loses money for Apple.
Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple. If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?
Wood himself admits that his comments are purely speculative. It would certainly be unusual for Apple to pursue a product that is losing them money. The Apple TV has been considered a “hobby” for Apple since its inception but Tim Cook recently boasted about the product’s $1 billion revenue and admitted it’s a little harder to call it a hobby these days – I doubt Cook would have been so forthcoming with Apple TV sales data if it were losing the company money.
According to Wood, the Apple TV has actually been beneficial to Roku with its sales doubling when Apple launched its $99 set-top box. Amazon is also rumored to be entering the TV market this spring with its own set-top box but the Roku CEO is unfazed by the rumors:
Every year about this time, the Amazon box comes up that they’re about to launch. And the new Apple TV is about to launch … We’ve been competing with Apple TV for six years now, and every year, we’ve grown. We’re in the TV platform business. Our goal is to be the operating system for TV.
Only time will tell as to whether Roku can survive as competition heats up.