If you're a Samsung smart TV owner, then a big surprise is on your way today. Apple has decided to offer support for iTunes and AirPlay 2 on Samsung smart TVs, a move not many of you may have expected. The support will be enabled on 2019 models of Samsung TVs starting this spring. Support on the 2018 models will be made available via firmware update later.
Apple and Samsung have announced a new partnership which will enable Samsung smart TV owners to access iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 on their TVs. This is the first time that Apple is opening up access to its iTunes video library to third-party devices, with Windows PC being the only exception. The new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on Samsung smart TVs will let users browse the iTunes Store to buy or rent titles. AirPlay 2, meanwhile, will enable customers to play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung TVs.
Apple and Samsung may be sometimes seen as arch rivals, they've always maintained a good working relationship. The former doesn’t make TVs and this move could be a very sensible one from the company. Samsung already boasts a strong reach in the premium TV market and hence is well fit for Apple. Also, Apple is expected to launch an online video streaming service later this year. So maybe it's prepping up for it.
We all know that Apple’s entire brand is privacy. Smart TVs, on the other hand, are known to be tracking what people watch. Samsung also says that iTunes will work with its Bixby assistant, search, and guide features. So has Apple compromised on its brand, that remains to be seen.
Also, Samsung smart TVs run on Tizen OS, a platform no other company works on. So is Samsung building the Apple apps, or Apple has a Tizen team in the house? And who will be in charge of updating the apps and fixing bugs? These are the questions that we may have to wait until this spring for answers.