Why Smart TV Shipments Are Growing

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Smart TVs, or those that connect users directly to streaming services, such as Netflix (NFLX) or allow them to check the weather without the need for a set-top box or dongle, are growing in popularity. Yet, they still represent less than 10% of "installed" TVs, according to Internet analyst Mary Meeker.

Smart TV shipments represented approximately 39% of TV units shipped globally in 2013, up from roughly 25% in 2012, according to material presented by Meeker, an analyst at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). Meeker had given an in-depth presentation at the Re/Code conference on Wednesday.

Meeker's annual "Internet Trends" report is required reading for tech investors as the data-filled slides are packed with a gamut of trends in the mobile, video, analytics, social networking, application, advertising and hardware markets.  Her 164-slide presentation, which viewers can also peruse at their leisure, has been the talk of the tech world on Wednesday.

While smart TVs have really yet to take off with consumers, on the other hand, "tens of millions" of users - and growing -- are using streaming devices, such as Apple (AAPL) TV, Google (GOOG) Chromecast, Roku or the new Amazon (AMZN) Fire TV. Apps are replacing traditional channels from networks like ESPN, BBC and Time Warner's (TWX) HBO.

The Apple TV set-top box, which sells for $99, is no longer a "hobby" for CEO Tim Cook, who noted to analysts and investors in last month's shareholder meeting call that revenue from its streaming device was more than $1 billion in 2013. Apple has sold roughly 20 million of the set-top box since it launched, Cook said.

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