A new report has pronounced Apple as the leader in the fast growing connected TV player market with its Apple TV offering.
The "Connected TV Players: Another Battlefield in the Smart TV War" report released by market research firm Strategy Analytics claims that the market for connected TV players, which allow users to stream Internet media to their TV sets, will more than double in 2011, compared to 2010.
The company said that it expected the market to grow to 12 million units shipped this year alone, with Apple selling 4 million Apple TV devices. Strategy Analytics attributed the growth in the connected TV player market to the low priced second generation Apple TV and Roku set-top box.
"Apple is leading this nascent market, which it still considers a 'hobby'", said Jia Wu, Senior Analyst at the Connected Home Devices (CHD) service.
"As Apple prepares for its expected launch of smart TVs in 2012, rival platforms must accelerate their development plans to keep Apple from running away with the connected TV business, as it has done in smartphones and digital music", Wu added.
The report also revealed that now 8 per cent of US households had a connected TV player while only 7 per cent of European households had one.
Find the press release here.