The two companies who are fierce rivals in the smartphone market are coming together to launch an iTunes app and Airplay 2 on select Samsung Smart TVs.
iTunes & Airplay 2 in Samsung TV
In a surprise announcement, Apple and Samsung have confirmed that an iTunes app will be available on 2019 Samsung Smart TVs at launch as well as 2018 Smart TVs via a firmware update. The iTunes app will offer access to users’ movies and TV shows in over 100 countries.
Samsung 2018 and 2019 TVs globally will also gain built-in Airplay 2 functionality. Airplay 2 allows you to wirelessly push videos, photos, music, podcasts and other media content to the TV screen from an Apple device such as the iPhone or iPad.
- “We look forward to bringing the iTunes and AirPlay 2 experience to even more customers around the world through Samsung Smart TVs, so iPhone, iPad and Mac users have yet another way to enjoy all their favorite content on the biggest screen in their home,” said Eddy Cue, senior vice president of Internet Software and Services at Apple.
The companies confirmed that Samsung users will not only be able to browse their existing iTunes library but also ”buy or rent from a selection of hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes — including the largest selection of 4K HDR movies”. It was not said explicitly but the statement makes it sound as if 4K HDR movies will be supported, too. Samsung TVs do not support Dolby Atmos.
- “We pride ourselves on working with top industry leaders to deliver the widest range of content services to our Smart TV platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, Executive Vice President, Visual Display Business at Samsung Electronics. “Bringing more content, value and open platform functionality to Samsung TV owners and Apple customers through iTunes and AirPlay is ideal for everyone.”
Samsung added that ”iTunes Movies and TV Shows will work seamlessly with Samsung’s Smart TV Services, such as Universal Guide, the New Bixby and Search”.
This is not exactly the type of announcement that you would expect the day before CES 2019 but it appears that the relationship between the two rivals is improving. Samsung is calling it an ”industry first” and it is indeed a very big deal. This is the first time that iTunes’ catalog of movies and TV shows is expanding beyond Apple devices, and the first time a TV device has been able to offer Airplay video functionality.
Is this the beginning of something bigger? Can we expect iTunes and Airplay 2 to show up in TVs from LG, Sony, TCL, and others? Apple remains silent but let us see if more details emerge at CES 2019.
Update: Apple confirms that Airplay 2 is coming to other "leading TV manufacturers", too, referring to it as "Airplay 2-enabled TVs".
- "Leading TV manufacturers are integrating AirPlay 2 directly into their TVs, so now you can effortlessly share or mirror almost anything from your iOS device or Mac directly to your AirPlay 2–enabled smart TV. You can even play music on the TV and sync it with other AirPlay 2–compatible speakers anywhere in your home, Apple said.