NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL) has lost market share in the domestic Internet-connected set-top box business that it once pioneered and dominated, according to research firm Parks Associates, putting the world's largest company behind Roku and its largest rival, Google (GOOG). That puts the company in the position of having to struggle to catch up with its own past.
Apple is now in third place, according to the latest data, as the research firm indicated that Apple sold slightly more than 2 million of its $99 set-top box in the U.S. in 2013, compared to an estimated 3.8 million Chromecast streaming dongles (retails for $35) and 3.8 million devices for Roku. The report also notes that Apple lost share in the first quarter of this year, with Roku taking market share in both usage and devices sold. Roku has several choices, ranging in price from $49.99 to $99.99. Plus, the company announced Roku TV at the Consumer Electronics Show in January of this year, a move to get away from set-top boxes and into actual televisions.
The report comes as more Internet-connected devices come into the home. After the first quarter of 2014, more than half of all U.S. households had consumer electronics connected to the Internet (smart TV, connected Blu-Ray player, connect game console, set-top box and or a digital media receiver), as companies make the push into the "Internet of Things," a phrase first coined by Cisco (CSCO) to include devices outside of PCs, smartphones and tablets.