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Roku blasts Apple TV as a money-losing iPad accessory

Speaking at Re/code’s Code/Media event on Thursday, Roku CEO Anthony Wood took several shots at competitors, focusing specifically on Apple, suggesting his company isn’t at all worried by the growing numbers of competitors.

“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad. They lose money, which is unusual for Apple,” Wood said, according to CNET. “If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?”

His statements however, have not been backed up by any numbers. The only evidence the CEO presented is the fact that Roku continued to grow even after competing devices were launched, including the Apple TV.

“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,” Wood told Re/code. ”We’re in the TV platform business. Our goal is to be the operating system for TV.”

Meanwhile, Apple has labeled its Apple TV as a “hobby” for a few years now. Even so, the number of Apple TV boxes the company sold have steadily increased, with Tim Cook announcing recently that in 2013 alone, Apple TV-related revenue surpassed $1 billion. Cook did not actually share any details about revenue split between Apple TV hardware purchases and Apple TV digital content purchases.

While it’s unlikely that Apple would brag about an underperforming product, the company has yet to remove the “hobby” tag from its Apple TV project. Horace Dediu said on Twitter that Apple TV is a ”Kindle-like product. Expected to break even.”

Apple is rumored to launch a fourth-generation Apple TV soon that will arrive with an updated operating system, and is said to work with Comcast on launching an Apple TV version that would replace regular Comcast cable TV boxes. Rumors that the company will launch an actual TV set powered by Apple TV still persist.

Roku has recently launched a new streaming dongle, to better compete against Google’s popular Chromecast, while Google has gone international with the device,launching it in an additional 11 markets. Roku will come preloaded on TV sets from TCL and Hisense later this year.


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