Apple is in the process of opening up its ecosystem to Samsung, one of the company’s biggest competitors in the market. The American smartphone maker will allow Samsung TV full access to its iTunes content. According to Apple, these services will be available this year. Samsung will include an iTunes app in its smart TVs too. The announcement was made during the Consumer Electronics Show event. The deal could be a huge plus for Apple. After all, Samsung is the biggest TV maker in the world.
The iTunes app on Samsung smart TVs will allow people to watch TV shows or movies that they have already purchased on iTunes. The app will also give you the option of buying new ones if you see fit. Users who have Samsung’s Bixby assistant will also be able to use it to play content on iTunes. The Samsung smart TV is expected to run Apple’s Airplay 2. The app is designed to let users play videos, music, and photos directly from their iPhones to speakers and TVs.
Apple has traditionally kept its products to itself with its tightly controlled apps exclusive only to its devices. The approach has worked to inspire a level of loyalty among customers and as such, many people have stuck with Apple for a long time. However, it’s also limiting in terms of the overall reach. Apple’s subscription services like Apple Music and iCloud have been limited to traditional Apple customers even though there’s a huge market out there to be explored.
But the deal with Samsung is not the only one. In November last year, the company said that it would allow users of Amazon’s Echo devices to access Apple Music. Apple also struck a deal with Amazon to sell Apple devices directly. The e-commerce giant promised in return to crack down on unauthorized third-party sellers on its website.
The deal with Samsung though is far more interesting due to the complicated history between these two giant companies. The companies have engaged in costly legal battles over the years regarding patents. At one point, Apple demanded $2 billion from Samsung claiming that the Korean company had copied some design features from the iPhone. Although the case ended up in the Supreme Court, the two companies decided to go for an out of court settlement. But Apple and Samsung have also worked together. For instance, Samsung is the leading supplier of displays for iPhones. At one point, the Korean company was also involved in making chips for Apple.
The new deal though is a clear sign that Apple is looking at the future. The company has been seeing slowed growth in iPhone sales and there’s already a plan to diversify its revenue sources by offering services. Partnering with Samsung could help the company reach out to new markets that were out of bounds before. Putting iTunes on Samsung smart TVs also lays the groundwork for a proposed streaming service from Apple.