Senior Vice President of Samsung Electronics America Dave Das showcases the QLED 8K television at the Samsung press conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center during CES 2019 in Las Vegas on January 7, 2019. / AFP / DAVID MCNEW
Samsung has said that from spring 2019 its new smart TVs will include iTunes. AFP

Arch rivals Samsung and Apple partner up on iTunes to boost new revenue streams



South Korean consumer tech giant Samsung said its latest smart TVs will support iTunes – developed by arch rival Apple - by the end of March 2019. This is the first time Apple has allowed third-party devices to access its video content outside of Windows PCs.

The announcement is surprising to many, however, regional technology analysts called it a ‘prudent’ move.

"Samsung is a wise gladiator. This move is a meal in itself… incorporating iTunes is a prudent manoeuvre," Sam Blatteis, chief executive of The Mena Catalysts, which advises technology companies on policy and government affairs in the region, told The National.

Samsung smart TVs will be able to access and play iTunes movie and TV show library, the company announced. Consumers can purchase or rent video content from iTunes through a dedicated app, which will be developed exclusively for Samsung TVs, it said.

This cooperation will help both companies to enhance their portfolio, while reaching more consumers in the region, Mr Blatteis noted.

“With this pact, Samsung and Apple can expect an increase in the following in the region… posing a stiff competition for others,” he said.

Samsung is also making its foray into video-on-demand services in the Middle East and North Africa region, entering into direct competition with California-based Netflix in the nascent Arabic content streaming segment.

iTunes is used to play, download, and organise digital multimedia files on personal computers and other devices. Even the old versions of Samsung smart TVs can add features to support iTunes after a firmware upgrade.

The new Samsung TVs will also feature support for AirPlay 2, Apple’s wireless streaming service. It will allow content including videos, podcasts and music to be streamed directly to smart TV from any Apple device.

The announcement of two fierce rivals partnering up, while mutually beneficial is not an outright shock as Apple already supports other platforms - iTunes on Windows and Apple Music on Android.

For Abbas Ali, managing editor of TechRadar Middle East, Apple is probably looking at its services business, which is currently its fastest growing domain, in a different light.

"As good as the iPhone is, we've seen its [services] growth rate starting to flatten out because of market saturation and Apple thus needs to look at alternate sets of revenue," Mr Ali  said.

The services businesses heavily depend on the number of devices it can be used on and with competitors Spotify and Netflix working across almost all devices, it makes sense for Apple to have its upcoming TV services be available across all platforms, he said.

There is a possibility that Apple will roll out its services to other manufacturers as well.

“Apple has already announced AirPlay 2 compatibility with LG and other TV sets and I wouldn't be surprised if the iTunes app also makes its way to it soon.”

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Read more:

Apple's bombshell poses a trillion-dollar question

Samsung's Q4 profit miss estimates as technology sector slowdown hits sales

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Apple, which is finding it difficult to sell iPhones and has recently revised its revenue outlook downwards for the first time in nearly two decades, is definitely more focused on services segment. In 2018 fiscal, the Cupertino-based firm earned more than $37.1 billion (Dh136.2bn) in revenue from services business.

Last week, Apple announced a buoyant results in its services segment during the holiday season.

“The holiday week was our biggest week ever with more than $1.22bn spent on apps and games,” said Phil Schiller, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.

Samsung's quarterly profit and sales have also missed estimates, as demand for memory chips slumped in the last three months of 2018, the same quarter that Apple reported  anaemic sales in China.

“With services a key part of the Apple flywheel and one of the only silver linings in an otherwise dark period of growth, Cook & Co. need to double down on content and distribution partners going forward,” Bloomberg quoted Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush Securities, as saying.

Apple and Samsung were at war for years over smartphone patents, with Apple accusing its rival of copying the iPhone’s design. After multiple trials and Apple being awarded millions of dollars, the two companies eventually settled in June 2018, ending litigation.Beyond lawsuits and hardware competition, the companies have still long shared a close partnership, with Apple relying on Samsung for components such as screens in the latest high-end iPhones. In recent years Apple has taken steps to wean itself off Samsung by developing its own future screen technology and device processors, Bloomberg reported.

The “deal shows that perhaps Apple doesn’t quite view Samsung as the enemy it used to,” Michael Gartenberg, a former Apple marketing executive, wrote on Twitter. “There are others both Apple and Samsung should worry about. Or the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

MATCH INFO

Tottenham 4 (Alli 51', Kane 50', 77'. Aurier 73')

Olympiakos 2 (El-Arabi 06', Semedo')

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

Founders: Roman Axelrod, Valentyn Volkov

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Smart contact lenses, augmented/virtual reality

Funding: $40 million

Investor: Opportunity Venture (Asia)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Profile of Hala Insurance

Date Started: September 2018

Founders: Walid and Karim Dib

Based: Abu Dhabi

Employees: Nine

Amount raised: $1.2 million

Funders: Oman Technology Fund, AB Accelerator, 500 Startups, private backers

 

Dengue fever symptoms
  • High fever
  • Intense pain behind your eyes
  • Severe headache
  • Muscle and joint pains
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen glands
  • Rash

If symptoms occur, they usually last for two-seven days

Poacher

Director: Richie Mehta

Starring: Nimisha Sajayan, Roshan Mathew, Dibyendu Bhattacharya

Rating: 3/5

Chinese Grand Prix schedule (in UAE time)

Friday: First practice - 6am; Second practice - 10am

Saturday: Final practice - 7am; Qualifying - 10am

Sunday: Chinese Grand Prix - 10.10am

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Yemen's Bahais and the charges they often face

The Baha'i faith was made known in Yemen in the 19th century, first introduced by an Iranian man named Ali Muhammad Al Shirazi, considered the Herald of the Baha'i faith in 1844.

The Baha'i faith has had a growing number of followers in recent years despite persecution in Yemen and Iran. 

Today, some 2,000 Baha'is reside in Yemen, according to Insaf. 

"The 24 defendants represented by the House of Justice, which has intelligence outfits from the uS and the UK working to carry out an espionage scheme in Yemen under the guise of religion.. aimed to impant and found the Bahai sect on Yemeni soil by bringing foreign Bahais from abroad and homing them in Yemen," the charge sheet said. 

Baha'Ullah, the founder of the Bahai faith, was exiled by the Ottoman Empire in 1868 from Iran to what is now Israel. Now, the Bahai faith's highest governing body, known as the Universal House of Justice, is based in the Israeli city of Haifa, which the Bahais turn towards during prayer. 

The Houthis cite this as collective "evidence" of Bahai "links" to Israel - which the Houthis consider their enemy. 

 

WHAT IS 'JUICE JACKING'?

• Juice jacking, in the simplest terms, is using a rogue USB cable to access a device and compromise its contents

• The exploit is taken advantage of by the fact that the data stream and power supply pass through the same cable. The most common example is connecting a smartphone to a PC to both transfer data and charge the former at the same time

• The term was first coined in 2011 after researchers created a compromised charging kiosk to bring awareness to the exploit; when users plugged in their devices, they received a security warning and discovered that their phones had paired to the kiosk, according to US cybersecurity company Norton

• While juice jacking is a real threat, there have been no known widespread instances. Apple and Google have also added security layers to prevent this on the iOS and Android devices, respectively