Samsung announced that they will add an app to their smart televisions in order to let people watch content purchased through iTunes. Is this for real? Samsung and Apple coexisting in perfect harmony? The deal is part of an ongoing strategy shift for Apple, who happens to be facing weak hardware sales in China. It seems that many people are holding onto their old iPhones for longer, which is causing the global market to be saturated with smartphones. But can you blame them? A new iPhone will run you at least $1000, and I mean, I’m sure there are a lot of people who feel that their money could be better served. And they’re not wrong. I see it as a cost of doing business in 2019, but $1000 (or more) is incredibly expensive.

Enter Samsung. This deal could be a step toward Apple distributing content to devices made by others. Apple does have a device known as Apple TV, which connects to a TV set, but they have yet to produce their own full-size set. Samsung will add an app to its televisions that will let users browse and play their existing iTunes movies and television shows. Alternatively, users can purchase or rent new content as well. Samsung will also add Apple’s AirPlay 2 software which will allow iPhone owners to stream content from their device to their Samsung televisions.

Other deals that are similar to this one usually involve the content companies paying television makers for the right to have their content on their devices. What we don’t know is whether or not this is the same arrangement that Apple has made with Samsung. Which likely means, that someone is paying someone else.

What does this mean? It’s impact is going to be minimal for the time being. Since late 2017, anyone who purchased movies through iTunes have been able to watch them on any device – including Samsung televisions, so long as the Movies Anywhere consortium was supported. Films from Warner Bros, Walt Disney, Universal, Sony and Fox, that were purchased through iTunes, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu could also be viewed on their own apps, as well as devices and TVs that support these apps as well.

Apple has never really been known to play well in the sandbox with others. Well, at least not when it comes to sharing. Which is how they’ve been able to get their customers to stick with the Apple ecosystem, but they have reached the precipice. Meaning, Apple needs to be more collaborative. Apple has shown signs of loosening their grip back in November when it announced that Amazon’s Echo devices would begin to support Apple Music. The two companies also struck a deal that allows Amazon to sell Apple devices directly, in exchange for cracking down on unauthorized third-party sellers on the site.

Apple and Samsung have an extremely complicated history. But this new relationship does signal that they know how to work together in some areas. They both also understand that they need the other in order to continue doing business. So it’s definitely a win-win. We anticipate seeing this Apple integration in the spring.