Is Roku afraid of Apple? Roku’s CEO Anthony Wood recently sat down during the Code/Media conference with Re/Code to throw a few punches at one of his company’s biggest competitors, while also discussing the effects the Apple TV has had on his business in the past.
“Apple TV is essentially an accessory for the iPad,” Roku CEO Anthony Wood said, downplaying the product’s ability to provide value without even owning an iPad. “They lose money, which is unusual for Apple. If you’re losing money, why would you want to sell more?” Apple hasn’t ever confirmed that it loses money on the Apple TV, and considering that it generated $1 billion in revenue during 2013 with relatively basic hardwawre, that seems like a tough argument to back up. Wood did say that the Apple TV has actually helped his company’s business, however, noting that sales of Roku boxes doubled when Apple cut the price of the Apple TV from $249 to $99.
Wood’s comments may be defensive, at least in the light of rumors that a new Apple TV is on the way, and that Amazon is about to enter the set-top TV business. Wood said these rumors seem to crop up “every year about this time,” but that his company has still grown despite the existing competition from Apple and new entrants to the market.
Roku makes a great product, and has done admirably well in the space – we’ll see how this plays out if Amazon and Apple really do increase their efforts.