Yesterday, Samsung announced that Apple’s iTunes movies and TV shows apps would be coming to their smart TVs, along with AirPlay 2 and HomeKit compatibility. Vizio and LG followed that up today by announcing that they would also be supporting AirPlay 2 and HomeKit.
Nilay Patel of the Verge asks some good questions about these partnerships:
Is Apple going to allow Samsung’s smart TV tracking to snoop on iTunes viewers? Smart TVs are notorious for tracking what people watch, but Apple’s entire brand is privacy. What usage data will Samsung see from the iTunes app? Update: Answered, for now: Apple tells me that Samsung will not be able to track usage inside the iTunes Movies & TV Shows app. But the press release says iTunes will work with Samsung’s Bixby assistant, search, and guide features, so we’ll have to see how what data powers those things when it ships in the spring.
I’m glad Patel got an answer on this for Samsung. While it appears that the Vizio and LG announcements are limited to their TVs functioning as AirPlay 2 receivers, this is the same Vizio that was (barely) fined for selling user data to advertisers.
Patel’s questions make me wonder what happened to that perennial rumour that Apple was building its own TV set.
Update: A complete list of TV models which support AirPlay 2 — including some from Sony, too — is now available.