Apple is extremely good at creating innovative products, but most importantly the company also excels at establishing key partnerships that will help them create and establish strong brands in the marketplace.
That is the case with AirPlay and Apple’s latest key partner BridgeCo. Both companies have plenty of surprises for us in 2011.
BridgeCo is the company with both hardware and software elements that are embedded inside stereo equipment, which makes it possible to stream music wirelessly between devices. Since Apple announced its partnership with BridgeCo, many manufacturers have announced upcoming products that will support the AirPlay technology. We’ve heard from companies like JBL, iHome, Marantz, Denon, Klipsch and many others.
With the big transformation happening in our connected homes, where millions of people are streaming music, videos, photos and many others are building big digital video collections, it’s no surprise that companies like Apple and BridgeCo have devised a plan to leverage the success of iOS devices. It’s safe to assume that many will eventually buy multiple AirPlay devices in order to enable a whole-home distributed concept.
Engadget had a chance to talk to BridgeCo’s VP of Sales and Marketing, Jordan Watters. During the Engadget interview, Jordan Watters mentioned that AirPlay devices could ultimately “dwarf made for iPod audio docks by 2x to 4x.” During the interview he also mentioned “The ecosystem is already there,” referring to the fact that many existing audio products already use BridgeCo’s chips, which makes it easy to add AirPlay functionality via a software update.
It is evident that Jordan Watters expects AirPlay’s acceptance to accelerate during 2011. To be honest, by looking at some of the big names that have already decided to provide AirPlay support, I agree with Mr. Watters. The population of iOS devices is quite large worldwide, and will keep growing. Looks like Verizon has made the decision to introduce the iPhone, which should increase the number of iOS users as well. If Apple can figure out a way to stream video across all apps and other external devices via AirPlay, it’s safe to assume that manufacturers will come out with even more AirPlay-compatible devices.