On the surface, this is Apple expanding their footprint but when you look at it deeply – it’s really big news.
Samsung Electronics announced today it will offer iTunes Movies and TV Shows and Apple AirPlay 2 support on 2019 Samsung Smart TV models beginning this spring.
Traditionally Apple have been very guarded about their playground and particularly not let others in their sandbox, but at CES Samsung have dropped the bombshell which gives them (in the short term at least) exclusive access to the iTunes based content outside of the Apple ecosystem. Users in over 100 countries will see their TV’s upgraded to allow AirPlay 2 functionality as well.
It’s important to note, though, that there is no official confirmation at the time of publishing which countries are included in Samsung’s plans.
There is no mention of any restrictions on access to content, with the specific mention that users have free and unhindered access not just to their already owned entertainment on iTunes but access to browse, rent and purchase any content including their QLED 4K and 8K TVs, The Frame and Serif lifestyle TVs, as well as other Samsung UHD and HD models.
With AirPlay 2 support, Samsung customers will be able to effortlessly play videos, photos, music, podcasts and more from Apple devices directly to Samsung Smart TVs, including QLED 4K and 8K TVs, The Frame and Serif lifestyle TVs, as well as other Samsung UHD and HD models.
For members of the Android world who have been exposed to it, AirPlay is essentially casting capability. The team at Cnet did an excellent write up on the functionality when AirPlay 2 was announced. The addition of AirPlay 2 to a range of Samsung TVs (again, updated to push out to older devices) is an interesting one as the combination of AirPlay and iTunes on devices goes very close to, if not making the Apple TV range redundant for owners of Samsung TVs.
Clearly this is quite the deal of Samsung and Apple with the likelihood of a lot of money changing hands for access to be allowed. But this raises some questions as to why?
There are suggestions Apple are simply looking to expand their footprint (stranglehold?) on the market and others are suggesting it’s a recovery strategy from the companies value plummeting after the latest iPhone release. Regardless of the driver for it, if you’ve got content locked in the Apple world you’d like easier access to this could be a big win for you.
Once there is a confirmation from Samsung Australia about whether or not the updates are expected to push to Australian TV’s or not, we’ll be sure to let our readers know.
What do you believe is driving this change, allowing other manufacturers to become partners and accessing the Apple world?