Samsung's 2019 smart TVs are getting Apple's iTunes and AirPlay 2 support

Samsung's 2019 smart TVs will include support for iTunes movies and TV shows.                  Samsung

Samsung's 2019 smart TVs will include support for iTunes movies and TV shows. Samsung

Apple bringing iTunes to Samsung Smart TVs is a big deal.

Apple is opening up its ecosystem to one of its biggest rivals by giving owners of Samsung TVs direct access to iTunes content. What's more, that content can be found through Samsung's universal search function, and even Samsung's own Bixby digital assistant. The deal also signals that "peak iPhone" is very real and that Apple is looking for ways in which it can supplement its revenue in the face of a declining iPhone market. They'll also be bringing support for AirPlay 2 starting at around the same time. Basically, Apple is eliminating the need of Apple TV for Samsung TV customers. This will allow you to push your photos, videos, music and other contents from your iPhone and iPad seamlessly onto their TVs. AirPlay 2 will enable users to play videos, music, podcasts, and more from Apple devices like the iPhone on their Samsung TVs.

The app, which is launching in more than 100 countries, will be available on current-gen Samsung TVs in the first half of 2019.

Apple has always been highly protective of its ecosystem, which is a double-edged sword for consumers - it helps ensure things work smoothly across Apple devices, but locks them into Apple's services and devices.

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With the planned HomeKit integration, users will be able to add compatible Vizio TVs to the iOS Home app and subsequently include them "in scenes or automations like any other HomeKit accessory".

Vizio will also make AirPlay 2 available on existing SmartCast TVs.

Apple is clearly using the days leading up to CES to implement the first moves in its video strategy. Amazon allows Prime Video shows to stream everywhere from its Fire sticks to the Roku and Smart TVs of the world. This isn't just Apple admitting that its streaming service can't survive without those who refuse to pay for its increasingly pricey hardware. Since it launched, SmartCast has developed into a functional connected TV platform in its own right, with both Google Cast as a backbone and a modest selection of apps and streaming services on top of it.

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