A recent study by TechTrends, Inc. has determined that by year-end 2001, AT&T Broadband will possess an installed base of digital set-top boxes that is 77% greater than any other North American cable operator. The study, entitled “Digital Cable Set-Top Boxes: North American Deployments in 2000-2001,” forecasts that during this period, AT&T will deploy 3.5 million units of Motorola's DCT-2000, accounting for nearly 60% of AT&T's deployed set-top boxes. In fact, TechTrends expects 7 other leading North American cable operators to deploy a large number of DCT-2000s by the end of 2001. As a result, this model will remain the most widely deployed digital set-top box, with nearly three times the market share of its nearest competitor.
The emergence of leading consumer electronics companies, such as Philips, Sony, Pioneer and Panasonic, are expected to radically alter the competitive and distribution landscape for digital cable set-top boxes, according to the study. During the next year, cable operators will begin to adopt new customer acquisition strategies, such as establishing a retail presence. Many operators will supplement their existing relationships with Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta by partnering with leading consumer electronics manufacturers who have strong brand recognition, retail distribution and compatible home entertainment devices.