Unthinkable? Apple to put iTunes on Samsung TVs

Unthinkable? Apple to put iTunes on Samsung TVs
It seems that the unthinkable has happened — Apple is about to launch a service of its own to run on hardware made by Samsung. Why is this a big deal? Well, Apple is well known for being very closed off — all of its devices and software are a "walled garden", communicating only with each other and refusing to work with anything that is third party.

So, the big news is that 2019 Samsung smart TVs (also some 2018 models, after a firmware update) will have iTunes and AirPlay 2 baked into their software. What this means is that you will be able to watch your iTunes movies and shows straight from the TV, or stream iPhone and iPad content to the TV through the AirPlay widget with no extra hassles. Now that's exciting!

This is not the first time Apple has crossed its own borders. Apple Music has been available for Android devices for a while now and iTunes can actually be installed on Windows PCs. So, what's going on?

When was the last time Apple felt pressured enough to advertise a discount program on its main page?

When was the last time Apple felt pressured enough to advertise a discount program on its main page?


Underperformance of the iPhones is the big news in tech recently. Well, it's not like Apple's top-tier handsets are crashing and burning, but they are still selling less than expected. The reasons for this are many, but the main one is that the market is getting saturated. And, when we are talking iPhones, we are talking about devices that are a costly investment but are also updated for years and expected to work for years. So, users are less inclined to upgrade to that pretty new iPhone XS, when the iPhone 7 still works great, or when they can grab a refurbished iPhone X at a considerable discount, and still enjoy its snappy performance.

It's hard to imagine that Apple hasn't been planning for this — the smart people at Cupertino probably knew this day would come. That is why the company has been putting so much emphasis on accessories and services for the past few years. It launched Apple Music, which is the only 1st party service you can use with the sleek HomePod, it launched AirPods, which seamlessly connect with all of your Apple gadgets, it redesigned the App Store completely, adding a nice daily editor pick space as the main page in order to drive more downloads. Obviously, Apple knows it has its devices in millions of hands and it's time to start selling them more services and more apps.

Cupertino has also been trying to make a push for domination of the living room with its Apple TV — a set-top box for your TV, which allows you to play all your iTunes content on your television, like show, movies, music, and games, and also stream to it via AirPlay. And while enthusiasts have certainly enjoyed owning the little black box, it just didn't make a huge dent in the mainstream market.

The Apple TV is small, cute, and extremely powerful

The Apple TV is small, cute, and extremely powerful


Why? Well, smart TVs are a thing — television sets that already offer services like Netflix and YouTube right out of the box. And, if not that, then you have some strong competitors like Amazon's Fire TV and Google's Android TV. To top it off, home gaming consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One also work as multimedia machines, additionally making the set-top boxes look redundant.

Amazon Fire TV is a tough opponent thanks to Amazon's presence in the digital market

Amazon Fire TV is a tough opponent thanks to Amazon's presence in the digital market


So, Apple seems to be softening up a bit here. Its TV set-top box is fighting a losing battle in a very, very tough niche, so the company has decided on the next best thing — partner up with one of the biggest TV sellers worldwide.

It's a win-win for both companies — those that use MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads will be more inclined to grab a smart TV by Samsung, while owners of the television sets will have a chance to see what iTunes is about and maybe decide to get an iDevice to complement their new service. How far is Apple willing to drop the drawbridge, though? It'll have to tread a fine line if it wants to keep that aura of premium exclusivity it has built for itself over the years. We'll have to wait and see.

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16 Comments

1. Phonehex

Posts: 732; Member since: Feb 16, 2016

Apple is gonna start bending over now.... Times up.

2. surethom

Posts: 1588; Member since: Mar 04, 2009

Apple mush be paying Samsung a bucket load of cash. But they need to expand there coverage to other devices other than Apple devices.

3. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Since Apple doesn't have their own TV's this is a smart move.

4. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

They need to generate new customers somehow. I wouldn't be surprised if their next gen speaker works with Android phones.

5. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Very nice and very surprising news! I bought Apple TV 4K to enjoy the best 4K movie selection in the market with my new Samsung 75" TV. Very nice that many people can enjoy the same collection of movies so easily. This is definately win-win for both companies. I still wish that Apple would do their own TV, without Apple TV my smart TV experience would be lot worse. How same apps with Apple TV are perfectly smooth while Same apps developed for smart TV lags.

8. RebelwithoutaClue

Posts: 5485; Member since: Apr 05, 2013

Pretty easy, most smart TVs have very crappy SoCs while the Apple TV uses a more than decent SoC. That's why I never use (or buy) a smartTV and tell people not to use it either. It's better to use either AppleTV or Shield TV depending on your ecosystem.

6. Zylam

Posts: 1802; Member since: Oct 20, 2010

They mentioned Samsung won't be able to data mine what iTunes users are watching like the Samsung TV does for the rest of the content.

15. Piotrek007

Posts: 119; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Apple is mining your data, Samsung is doing that of their customers... What's your point here?

7. monkeyb

Posts: 378; Member since: Jan 17, 2018

I have always used an iPhone and have always had a Samsung TV. Samsung produces the best (My opinion) screens. As the article rightly mentions, this is a big win-win situation for both companies as well as fans like me who love both Apple and Samsung. Sony has also announced airplay support, so its overall good news for Apple users.

10. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Why is this being presented as only a Samsung thing. This is part of the obvious broader reached Apple started with Amazon last fall. Samsung is not the only one getting on this. LG, Vizio, Sony and others are doing the same. This is all in preparation of the streaming service Apple have been working one and will be ready for lunch this coming fall.

12. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

"Samsung is not the only one getting on this. LG, Vizio, Sony and others are doing the same. " Actually so far Everyone else is talking about airplay support not adding iTunes, only Samsung said to get iTunes, but it might change but so far we don't know. Maybe others doesn't have timeline ready or this is first Samsung exclusive

14. toukale

Posts: 605; Member since: Jun 10, 2015

Actually Vizio announced airplay 2, homekit and iTune supports.

16. midan

Posts: 2557; Member since: Oct 09, 2017

Where? Can't find anything about that. I only found this https://www.cnet.com/news/at-ces-2019-apple-finally-sets-itunes-airplay-loose-through-samsung-lg-vizio-partnerships/ "AirPlay on LG, Vizio, Sony While Samsung is the only TV maker to offer iTunes TV and videos on its sets, other companies will let users stream content from their iPhones, iPads and Macs to their televisions. LG, Vizio and Sony on Monday said Apple's AirPlay 2 and HomeKit are coming to their televisions. For LG, its 2019 smart TVs will feature the technology, as will TVs from Sony." Every article only talking about AirPlay 2 and HomeKit

11. cncrim

Posts: 1558; Member since: Aug 15, 2011

iMessage come android?

13. bucknassty

Posts: 1296; Member since: Mar 24, 2017

if they can figure out the revenue stream from it, why not? if they can sell phones fast enough sell that software baby!

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