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Chromecast shipments trounce Apple TV for the first time, researcher says

And Netflix is on one of every three connected devices in the US, says IHS.

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Google's $35 Chromecast connects TVs to the Internet and devices in the same room, like a laptop or smartphone.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Google's Chromecast is due for a victory lap, after its shipments nearly doubled those of upscale rival Apple TV earlier this year, researcher IHS said Friday.

In the first three months of 2016, Google shipped 3.2 million Chromecasts to market versus the 1.7 million Apple TVs shipped in the same period, according to IHS. Before that, Apple had always beat Chromecast.

The reason for the burst of momentum? Apple's price bump. Google has priced Chromecast at $35 since its introduction in 2013, when the popular bare-bones device spurred a wave of imitators. But last year, Apple upgraded its Apple TV for the first time in three years, and the company boosted its starting price to $149 from $99.

IHS also said video-streaming service Netflix was on 339 million connected devices in the U.S. at the end of last year. That means it's hitting 32 percent of all gadgets capable of watching video.

"The service's ubiquity turns Netflix into a de facto rival -- and on occasion complement -- to any other given video offering in the U.S.," said Merrick Kingston, IHS' principal analyst for connected home technology.