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Apple, Samsung Make Nice (Kinda) With Smart TV-iTunes Partnership

January 7, 2019, 4:02 PM UTC

Apple and Samsung are typically fierce rivals, each battling for dominance in the smart phone market. But in one of the first major surprises at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the two companies have announced a partnership that will enable Apple’s app store to appear on all Samsung Smart TVs in the near future.

Starting this spring, Samsung Smart TV owners can download an iTunes app, giving access to all movies and television shows purchased through Apple—and letting them buy additional programs and films.

It’s a notable step for Apple since the launch of iTunes. The company has largely kept a closed gate around its app-store content, corralling customers in its ecosphere. But as the company looks for new revenue models, a partnership with a smart television manufacturer makes sense. And Samsung is the leader in that space.

The deal is also noteworthy since the two companies are moving beyond their legal history when Apple took Samsung to the Supreme Court demanding it pay $2 billion. It might also indicate that Apple is rethinking plans to create an Apple TV beyond the existing mini-set top box. Apple enthusiasts have been whispering about the company launching its own set since long before the death of Steve Jobs.

News of the Apple/Samsung partnership comes just days after Apple announced it would fall short of its revenue projections this quarter due to poor iPhone sales, especially in China. Investors have been punishing the company since that revelation. News of the deal has not buoyed the stock.