Unexpected surprise from Samsung and in flat kings weekend. As we read from their own press website, the company’s televisions will be compatible with Apple’s AirPlay 2 protocol and will also integrate iTunes content from their own systems. This means that no Apple TV will be required to use the content on our Apple devices with these televisions in 190 countries.
The integration with iTunes content will be done through a new application, which will be installed in all models of televisions that Samsung will launch from spring 2019. The 2018 TVs will also be able to have it with a firmware update. With it, anyone can log in with their Apple ID and access the entire iTunes Store movie catalog, both rental and purchase .
Everything will be integrated with Samsung’s services and content guide, and of course the quality can be up to 4K HDR . It is a step as surprising as it is interesting on the part of Samsung and Apple. There are many variables to take into account here, starting with the fact that both companies compete in the smartphone market but at the same time depend on each other with the components of those smartphones. Their relationship with this becomes more robust.
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Moreover, this agreement could not come at a better time: we are surrounded by news about all the productions that will make up the Apple streaming service that should appear this year. And with the TVs sold by Samsung all over the world, Apple is getting its present content (rental and purchase of iTunes Store) and future content (streaming service) to be in many more living rooms than just those where there is an Apple TV installed .
It is, without a doubt, a gesture of preparation for what is to come in order to ensure that the initial audience of all these new Apple contents can be measured by hundreds of millions of people . And that’s not counting all those who will be able to see all that content through their iOS devices, which are also measured with the same magnitude of numbers. What I’m wondering now is, after the rumors that Apple’s movie catalog was going to be free for owners of one of the company’s devices, will it have a price for anyone who wants to watch it through a Samsung TV?
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What’s more, where does this leave the Apple TV? Let’s imagine that Apple ends up offering its catalogue of movies in streaming for a fixed monthly fee for everyone. If you no longer need Apple TV to use AirPlay on your TV or to view that catalog… what’s the point of buying one? AirPlay 2 working on a Samsung TV connected to a good sound bar can even change the minds of anyone considering buying a HomePod for their living room right now.
In other words: this movement is unexpected and interesting, but it is also risky . It is to expand the audience of a future movie catalog, in exchange for gambling with the future of Apple TV sales. But we must also think about something else: we do not know how Apple can update tvOS and it would not be strange to see how Apple keeps a key advantage for those who use that system in their televisions. What key advantage? We don’t know.
Eddy Cue, vice president and head of software and services, says the following about the news:
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Few clues to this beyond promoting the expansion of possibilities with Samsung TVs. At the moment, the only thing I can assure you is that the rumour of an Apple TV is now completely out of the question.