With revenue from iPhone sales on the decline — though that might be temporary given that 5G is right around the corner — Apple has for some time appreciated that its next big revenue driver will come from its line of services, a far-ranging category that includes revenue from the App Store, Apple Music, and more.
In light of that, Apple recently inked a somewhat surprising deal with Samsung to expand the reach of iTunes. As we reported yesterday, all of Samsung’s 2019 smart TVs will include an iTunes app that will enable users to buy and rent movies and TV shows directly from Apple. What’s more, Samsung’s upcoming lineup of TVs will also include support for AirPlay 2. As for folks with older Samsung TVs, you might also be able to take advantage of the new integration of Apple services. Specifically, Samsung noted that iTunes support will also be available on its lineup of 2018 smart TVs via a forthcoming firmware update.
Samsung, though, isn’t the only TV manufacturer Apple has been striking deals with. Earlier today, Vizio announced that it will be adding support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit to its SmartCast TV platform via a free update sometime in the second quarter of this year. As for compatible TVs, Vizio notes that “the SmartCast 3.0 update is available only to eligible SmartCast TVs and displays enabled with SmartCast Home.”
“By adding support for Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit, users can play content from their iPhone, iPad and Mac directly to SmartCast TVs, and enable TV controls through the Home app and Siri,” Vizio CTO Bill Baxter said in a press release.
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 also makes a point of noting that users will be able to use their iPhone or iPad to turn Vizio TVs on and off, adjust the volume, switch inputs, and even ask Siri to play select shows.
And similar to Vizio, LG at CES earlier today also announced a new partnership with Apple that will see support for AirPlay 2 and HomeKit on its 2019 line of smart TVs.
LG’s press release reads in part:
Users can use their own voice to get things done with Amazon Alexa, a new addition to LG’s AI TV lineup in 2019, and the support of Apple AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. With AirPlay 2, users can easily play videos directly from their Apple devices, iTunes and other video apps, music or photos to their LG SIGNATURE OLED TV R. With Apple HomeKit support, customers will be able to control their LG TV using the Home app or by asking Siri.
With CES kicking off today, it will be interesting to see what other partnerships, if any, Apple has struck with leading TV manufacturers.