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Apple TV trails behind Roku, other TV platforms in US device sales

The Apple TV ranked low in U.S. sales of streaming TV devices during the March quarter, leaving it nowhere near rivals like Roku or Sony, according to new estimates.

Apple's sales were around 13 million, Strategy Analytics indicated in a recent report. That put it ahead of devices with LG's webOS, but only by a small margin.

Leading the pack was Roku with sales of 41 million devices, or over 30% of the market. The company has had success not just with set-tops and sticks but partnerships with TV makers like TCL, which preload Roku OS.

The second most popular platform was Sony's PlayStation at around 30 million units, barely ahead of Microsoft's Xbox. Samsung (Tizen), Google (Android TV/Chromecast), Amazon (Fire TV), and Nintendo followed suit.

The reason for Apple's performance is uncertain, but an Apple TV 4K is one of the more expensive add-on options, starting at $179. Many people may also already own a smart TV, Xbox, or PlayStation, eliminating the need to buy Apple's hardware unless they want that specific platform and its apps.

Perhaps in recognition of the fact, Apple TV+ — launching this fall — will be available on TVs from Samsung, LG, Sony, and Vizio, as well as streamers by Roku and Amazon.