Google TV vs Apple TV, Xbox One and Roku

Will Google TV be able to win the smart TV battle against Apple, Roku and Microsoft?


Google TV is arguably the smart TV platform with the most potential. Its open ecosystem and flexibility is beat by no competitor, not to mention more manufacturers have been jumping ship and offering affordable devices. Brand loyalty, accessibility and lack of apps/features may be what put Google TV at risk, though. Competition is about to start getting even rougher for Google TV.

apple-tvIn an interview at the D11 conference, Apple CEO Tim Cook states over 13 million Apple TV units have been sold so far [The Verge]. Sales saw an unexpected rise over the last 12 months, during which half of those 13 million units were sold. Cook doesn’t reveal much more when asked about the future of Apple TV other than the fact that “there is a grand vision” for it.

Roku has also announced that it is now supported by $60 million in investment [The Verge]. This may not be Google TV’s biggest competitor, but it is a significant one. Obviously, its investors believe in the company and its vision. Roku wants to see its software and hardware become more accessible, and will use this money to accomplish it. Plans include improvements to the platform, but also having the Roku software already installed in some TV sets.

To add to the list, even Microsoft is set to compete against Google. The Xbox one is definitely the biggest threat Google TV has seen in a while. The next-gen console will feature Google TV-like functionality, using your cable box and its UI to improve your TV experience. Not only is Xbox One a solid competitor in hardware and features, but it is also a console millions of people will be buying regardless of the TV features. This might drive users away from purchasing a Google TV, as they would already have a similar service in their living rooms.


We can see how some of these may be beating Google TV in certain ways. Apple has the name, of course, and it is a very well-built little TV streaming device. It has good apps and awesome functionality with other Apple products. Roku is affordable, portable and also has all of the most popular streaming services. Microsoft’s Xbox One features a very powerful, seamless and intuitive TV experience, not too mention the popular console is backed by many years of loyalty and sale power. Oh… and it runs some of the best games in the world.

Google TV could definitely beat Apple TV if it advertised Google TV more. Also, Google could make its TV platform work great with Chrome OS and Android. The former could not be very significant, but Android flat out dominates the mobile market. Throw some exclusive features in there and that would be more than enough reason for people to choose to Google TV.

Roku is not that big of a challenge, it would just be nice to get some streaming services Google TV still doesn’t have (and Roku does); Hulu+ being the most popular one. Now, Xbox One – that will be one hard platform to beat. We suppose improving Google TV’s games would be a start. Also, there is a major price difference here. People who don’t want to play games will probably just opt for a Google TV, Apple TV or Roku.

In short, we need changes, Google. We need them very, very soon! What else do you think Google could do to keep itself ahead of these competitors?

  • Pace

    I think gtv is a great product but it feels like its going nowhere, the set top boxes are random and confusing there is no identifying factor that someone could look at and say hey that’s a gtv like they do with apple tv or roku.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Very true! It’s sad that Google, which makes pretty much all of its money from advertising, is so bad at marketing its own product. The general consumer doesn’t know what a Google TV is. Yet if you ask them what Roku or Apple TV is, at least they will be able to tell you “it’s that box they sell for streaming.”

  • Joe Fedewa

    Don’t forget about Boxee! I have the Boxee TV and I love, but I know a lot of people hate it.

    • Edgar Cervantes

      Boxee is cool, I actually love the idea. It just hasn’t grown enough to really be a threat to Google TV. That is why I didn’t add it.