Apple Tells MFIs to Support AirPlay for Bluetooth 4.0

By Erin Harrison December 13, 2011

Apple has apparently announced its proprietary AirPlay protocol will gain enhanced support for the wireless Bluetooth standard in the form of a new chip, according to Japanese blog Macotakara.

During its MFI (Made For iPhone/iPad/iPod) Technology Summit 2011 in China for 2,000 members of its MFI Program, Apple reportedly said the company is aiming to expand the market for wireless iOS accessories by taking the IAP via Bluetooth (iPod Accessory Protocol) to the Bluetooth 4.0 level.

“Apple [said] that Bluetooth 4.0+HS on iPhone 4S to be low-energy for longer battery life, and to support new application market like as health-care, game and other,” the Japanese-to-English translated blog post said. “Apple seems to have a plan to expand AirPlay wireless devices market to be seven times larger by promoting iPod Accessory Protocol (IAP) via Bluetooth implemented in iOS 5. AirPlay wireless devices have only 2 percent of MFI programs licensed yet.”

9to5Mac points out that although Macotakara has been off the mark before with its predictions, this latest report adds up.

“Taking into account that Macotakara has had its share of misses in the past, this development really makes sense. iPhone 4S is the first handheld device from Apple to feature support for the new Bluetooth 4.0 wireless standard,” the report said. “It lets the handset connect to the mid-2011 MacBook Airs and Mac minis and future Bluetooth Smart Ready devices at an extremely low-power and low latency mode up to 50 meters away.

AirPlay allows for wireless streaming of audio, video, photos and related metadata between certified devices. It streams information about music, too: Song titles, artists, album names, elapsed and remaining time, and album artwork all appear on AirPlay-enabled speakers with graphical displays. AirPlay over Bluetooth alleviates the need to connect to a WiFi network when AirPlaying music, photos and movies.

In other recent Apple news, UBS analyst Maynard Um is raising his estimate of 28 million handset sales for Apple to 30 million in Q4 2011. That’s almost double from Q1 2011 sales when the company sold 16.24 million iPhones. 

The new projection comes after AT&T announced this will be their best smartphone quarter ever due to large sales from the iPhone 4S, TechZone360 reported. Within three days of its launch in Oct. the iPhone 4S had sold over four million units.

iPhone 4S is one of the best smartphones yet, according to Apple, with features that include a dual-core A5 chip, 8 megapixel camera, 1080p HD resolution video recording and Siri, your own personal assistant.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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