Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Not a Hobby Anymore: New Apple TV Sales Hit One Million

Apple says sales of its new, cheaper Apple TVs will hit one million this week, less than four months after Steve Jobs introduced the new version.

I don’t think that qualifies as a surprise, given that Apple knocked the price of the gadget down to $99. And it seems that Apple’s foray into your living room has gotten further than Google’s, given the latter’s disappointing reviews and pre-CES pullback.

But I’m not sure it’s a runaway success, either. Some context: Apple sold nine million iPods during the third quarter of this year. And it took the company just 28 days to sell a million iPads after its April launch. On the other hand, it took Apple nearly two years to sell its first million iPods, way back in 2003.

Apple also says its customers are now renting 400,000 TV shows and more than 150,000 movies per day from iTunes. Bear in mind that those are being watched on all of Apple’s devices, not just Apple TV. But if you’re a studio with product to push, that shouldn’t matter–a sale is a sale.

Or at least that’s Apple’s argument to the studios, which have yet to give it all the product it wants, and the prices it wants. So far only Disney and News Corp.’s Fox (News Corp. also owns this Web site) have agreed to let Apple rent TV shows for 99 cents.

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There was a worry before I started this that I was going to burn every bridge I had. But I realize now that there are some bridges that are worth burning.

— Valleywag editor Sam Biddle