Gadgets for humans

AirPlay 2 is coming to more TVs, proving Apple can change its mind

Despite conflicting report, times might actually be a-changin'

apple tv airplay 2 money header

Apple hasn’t had the best few weeks. Not only did the company have to drop its revenue forecast for Q1 2019 by a whopping $9 billion, it has also had to reduce the amount of iPhones it’s making by 10 percent. Ouch.

Honestly, I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Apple makes premium (read: expensive) products, so at some point its astronomical growth is bound to stall. It’s inevitable. What’s wrong with being a successful, stable company?

To answer that rhetorical question, money.

For better or worse, big public companies don’t operate on the idea of consistent non-growth. They work on behalf of shareholders who want to a return on their investment. Basically, this means that Apple has to find a way to reverse its fortunes and start making more money than ever.

Now, I’m not saying Apple’s announcement of a raft of TVs and speakers getting AirPlay 2 support is a direct reaction to its recent troubles. Far from it. The likelihood is that this spate of support was planned for some time, especially when Apple is looking to get into the streaming market.

Despite this, I firmly believe we’ll see more and more of these type of announcements from the company.

Why?

One of the elements that has defined Apple over the past decade or so has been its reluctance to operate outside of its own ecosystem. Despite a couple of high-profile examples (like iTunes and Apple Music), the company prefers to keep its proprietary apps and services on its own systems. Put it this way, you’re not going to find iMessage on Android.

I’m certain this will change. And soon.

If Apple has to keep on increasing its revenue, one of the simplest ways of achieving this is making money from services it owns – particularly ones that are currently only on iOS or macOS. While AirPlay has appeared on a range of devices (Sonos seem to have a particularly close relationship with Apple regarding this), it’s definitely not widespread. Especially not on televisions.

Part of this is undoubtedly due to the Apple TV and the company not wanting to jeopardize the success of its own hardware. This is why the introduction of AirPlay 2 on a selection of big brand TVs is important – it shows that on some level Apple is willing to change… to make money.

What’s next?

The aforementioned iMessage is beloved by many, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that received an Android app. But the big one? Siri.

While Alexa and Google Assistant are being jammed into every device possible, Siri is noticeably absent from this race. Whatever the thinking behind this is, there’s no doubt that Siri could be a big – and long-term – money-maker for Apple. It’s exactly the sort of thing they could begin baking into third party devices to try and improve its bottom line.

Of course, what specific services or apps Apple tries to expand is conjecture – it really could be anything inside its ecosystem.

The important part is Apple will be forced to change. Its reliance on making an ever-growing part of its revenue from iPhones is coming to a close. If it wants to continue growing – which we can all agree it does – Apple is going to have to look to other avenues.

And this announcement of wider AirPlay 2 support shows the way it’s going to do that.

Anyway, did you come here to find out what TVs are actually getting AirPlay 2? Don’t worry, we’ve got you:

  • LG OLED (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM9X series (2019)
  • LG NanoCell SM8X series (2019)
  • LG UHD UM7X series (2019)
  • Samsung QLED Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 8 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 7 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 6 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 5 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Samsung 4 Series (2019 and 2018)
  • Sony Z9G Series (2019)
  • Sony A9G Series (2019)
  • Sony X950G Series (2019)
  • Sony X850G Series (2019 85″, 75″, 65″ and 55″ models)
  • Vizio P-Series Quantum (2019 and 2018)
  • Vizio P-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio M-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio E-Series (2019, 2018 and 2017)
  • Vizio D-series (2019, 2018 and 2017)

If you’re interested in what other bits of hardware (including speakers) will soon receive AirPlay 2, there’s a full list here.

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Published January 9, 2019 — 13:19 UTC