Rumours surrounding Apple expanding into the TV space have circulated for years. We know that the company is planning its own streaming service, and at one point toyed with the idea of releasing its own living room display. Instead of creating its own TV, Apple has decided to forge partnerships with established, popular TV makers, with Samsung, LG and Vizio all set to support Apple features later this year.
Samsung has the biggest deal, as not only will Samsung TVs start to support AirPlay 2, but 2018 and 2019 TVs from the company will also come with iTunes pre-installed. This means users will be able to rent or buy films and shows through Apple on Samsung TVs without needing an additional Apple TV set top box. Meanwhile, the addition of AirPlay support means iPhone, iPad and Mac users will be able to beam video and audio from their device onto the big screen at the touch of a button.
LG and Vizio will support a slightly different feature set. There is no word on iTunes integration yet but a firmware update will ensure that recent TVs from both companies will support AirPlay. Beyond that, LG/Vizio TVs will support Apple HomeKit, so you'll be able to control certain functions from iOS.
This seems to be a first step for Apple, which plans to launch its own Netflix-style streaming service in the future, complete with funded original programming. Apple has also been trying to bolster its movie offerings on iTunes, with 4K content and ‘early' iTunes releases.
KitGuru Says: Apple can't necessarily rely on people owning one of its devices if it wants its future streaming service to become as successful as Netflix worldwide. With that in mind, a move like this seems like a no-brainer.