It is very difficult to have figures regarding the weight of Android TV on the TV market. Google communicates few numbers, and ecosystem actors are not very talkative. Overview of the presence of Android TV.
As the name suggests, Android TV is Android, but … for television. Google does not say much about sales figures, but in an interview with MultiChannel, a figure came out: tens of millions of users around the world.
Android TV, formerly Google TV, may be available on three types of products. First, on the smart TVs of its partners. An IHS study shows that Android TV would have about 40% of this market, compared to 23% for Tizen (Samsung) and 13% for WebOS (LG Electronics). Google is a partner with many manufacturers including Philips, Sony, TCL and Thomson in France. Recently we tested a Philips TV under this OS, and a TCL.
These are the same figures found on Statista, Android TV dominates the OS landscape for smart TV. Note that Firefox OS for TV is the OS of Panasonic TVs, while Fire TV is the OS of Amazon TVs sold in the United States.
The free TV boxes
There is also Android TV on TV boxes sold commercially. The most popular is the Nvidia Shield TV which incorporates a SoC very close to that of the Nintendo Switch. Moreover, this box TV is updated since 2015 and it exists under two variants of two different sizes. Nvidia has had a real head start on this product which is compatible with a very large part of HDR formats, and can also run H265 4K at 60 fps without flinching. We also find Google Assistant from one of the last big updates and the GeForce Now beta test service that allows you to play PC games through cloud gaming.
One of the other popular box Android TV is the Xiaomi Mi Box and Mi Box S, much more accessible and is also able to run the 4K HDR … but not at the same level of quality.
Xiaomi Mi Box S
The latest Mi Box S is Google Assistant compatible, but it is not as powerful as the Shield TV to decode the most exotic compression formats. The Mi Box are still very interesting alternatives to a Chromecast Ultra.
There is also on this market a slew of 4K TV box Android that are not certified by Google. They occasionally integrate the Google Play Store, but they do not have all the certifications to run apps like Netflix, Molotov or MyCanal.
Also note that several products, including JBL soundbars, have also chosen Android TV as their OS.
The TV boxes of the ISPs
Internet service providers (ISPs) have also made the choice of Android TV for various reasons. Obviously, economic reasons but also for the ecosystem of the OS and its many applications. In France, SFR was one of the first to market an Android box, but it was not Android TV. Bouygues Telecom then arrived with the Miami Box, updated on Android TV a few months after its launch, and then Free with the Freebox Mini 4K. In Spain, Orange also marketed a box Android TV compatible 4K HDR in November 2018.
The box Orange marketed in Spain is on Android TV
Mainly in Europe and Asia at ISPs
In the interview cited above, Shalini Govil-Pai, director of product management for Android TV, points out that most of these users are in Europe and Asia. The US market is still resisting, although some operators have begun to integrate Android TV on their platforms. Roku is also a key player in the United States, but struggling to develop beyond US borders. Another data obtained from the interview is that half of the users use Android TV via the platform of their ISP. Smart TVs and so-called free boxes share 50% of the rest from Android TV.
Unfortunately, the only thing we can know for sure is that there are more than 20 million box and smart TVs running Android TV worldwide. Competitors of this type of platform are not very inclined to give figures either, although we can compare them to the 60 million Roku box sold (even if they are only in the United States).
Read on FrAndroid: What are the best Android TV boxes and media boxes in 2019? our selection