iPhone X Animoji
Samsung has launched its response to Apple’s Animoji. Reuters/Edgar Su

Many techies may be wondering right now how Samsung managed to snag a deal with Disney behind Apple’s back. Apple and Disney are known to have this long and close relationship, so it totally came as a shock when Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S9 and introduced Disney character emojis as part of the device’s AR Emoji feature.

Samsung’s partnership with Disney for AR Emoji has undeniably caused some to wonder if Apple is also in the process of securing the same deal. However, SamMobile says it’s still unclear if Apple would be offered the same thing so that its iPhone X’s Animoji feature could also have access to the same Disney emojis that are coming to Samsung’s AR Emoji. It’s also still unknown if the Disney emojis are exclusive to Samsung at this point.

It would be a disappointment if Disney’s emojis won’t come to Apple’s Animoji though. Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs used to be part of Disney’s board, while Disney’s CEO Bog Iger is also a member of Apple’s board. Jobs remains to be the beneficial owner of 64.3 million Disney shares after 138 million of his shares were transferred to a trust run by his widow Laurene Powell following his death.

Also worth mentioning is how Apple usually demonstrates its products using Disney content — an affirmation that the two are on good terms. In fact, Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse characters have long been watch face options for the Apple Watch smartwatch. But it’s quite unfortunate that Mickey and his gang didn’t have animated emojis for Apple’s Animoji when iPhone X debuted in November 2017.

Late last year, there were rumors circulating the possibility of Apple buying Disney to transform into a formidable competitor against Netflix, Google and Amazon. Forbes reported last December that the acquisition could help Apple secure a strong position in the media business. However, it would be a big challenge for Apple’s whose largest acquisition was $3 billion for Beats, while Disney’s market cap was about $175 billion.

The rumors reportedly surfaced after market data revealed that Apple TV shares in the streaming devices market declined in recent years. Given that Disney has an impressive collection of content and the company’s close ties with Apple, it would make sense for the Cupertino giant to target Disney for a game-changing acquisition.

Since the rumored acquisition never reached fruition, Apple is stuck with simply being friends with Disney. But this isn’t such a bad thing at all. It could pave the way for Apple to get a sweet deal that could bring Disney character emojis to its Animoji feature for the iPhone X. For now though, Samsung fans won’t have the short end of the stick as animated personalities like Mickey Mouse and his gang and the characters from “The Incredibles” are rolling out with the Galaxy S9 and S9+.