And if you want to stream video from your iPhone or iPad over AirPlay, you likewise need an Apple TV. We're sure this is no coincidence - if Apple doesn't provide access to this service on third-party TVs soon, we'll eat our hats. The TVs will also support Airplay, making it easier for iPhone owners to beam music and videos to their TV sets. Samsung also noted that iTunes will work seamlessly with its onboard search, as well as with its Bixby AI assistant.
The move represents a concession from the USA company, which had previously encouraged iTunes users to buy its £179 Apple TV box as the best way to watch material purchased from its iTunes Store. The inclusion of AirPlay 2 support means you'll be able to beam content to your TV directly from Apple devices too. The SmartCast platform was originally based nearly entirely on Google Cast, letting its TVs act as if a Google Chromecast was connected.
This announcement raises more questions than answers, so tonight's Samsung TV press briefing should be very interesting. The team at Cnet did an excellent write up on the functionality when AirPlay 2 was announced.
Best of Enemies Beyond lawsuits, the companies have still long shared both a close partnership, with Apple relying on Samsung for components such as screens in the latest high-end iPhones, as well as fierce rivalry.
The AirPlay 2 support isn't Samsung's only Apple-focused announcement at CES, however. "With the new iTunes Movies and TV Shows app on Samsung Smart TVs, Samsung customers can access their existing iTunes library and browse the iTunes Store to buy or rent from a selection of hundreds of thousands of movies and TV episodes a" including the largest selection of 4K HDR movies. The app has not been announced for LG, Vizio, or any other non-Apple smart TV platform, and is a significant boon for Samsung TVs.
The iTunes app and Airplay update will be deployed to 2018 Samsung TVs via a firmware update starting this spring, and presumably be included on 2019 TVs at launch.