Roku CEO Not Threatened by Apple TV
Roku founder and CEO Anthony Wood is apparently not worried about his company’s competitors in the increasingly crowded streaming media device market. The CEO dismissed the viability of the Cupertino, California-based company’s Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV product during Re/code’s introductory Code/Media event in Santa Monica on Thursday.
“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad,” Wood told Re/code’s Peter Kafka, according to CNET. “They lose money, which is unusual for Apple. If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?” However, the Roku chief executive also noted that his comments about the Apple TV’s margins were “speculative.”
Wood appeared to be referring to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments about Apple TV at the company’s recent shareholders meeting in February. Per Re/code, Cook announced that Apple made more than $1 billion in revenue from Apple TV sales and Apple TV content sales in fiscal 2013. “It’s a little more difficult to call it a hobby these days,” Cook said, per Reuters. Apple co-founder Steve Jobs famously called Apple TV a “hobby” at the AllThingsD conference in 2007, reports Engadget.
Roku makes several models of its video-streaming devices, including a Streaming Stick that is similar to Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Chromecast dongle. Roku’s devices include more than 1,200 apps and work with all major video services except for Apple’s iTunes. Like Apple TV, Roku’s latest set-top box is priced at about $100. Despite the identical costs, Wood noted that Roku’s sales actually doubled when Apple lowered the price of its set-top box from $249 to $99, Re/code reports.