Apple Taps New Chip to Expand AirPlay Accessories

While iOS devices have experienced explosive growth in recent years, “made for iPhone/iPad/iPod touch” (MFI) accessories have not followed the same trajectory. Last week, Apple announced plans to expand its Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for MFI programs to help expand that market.

Apple & AirPlay

The 2,000 participants of the MFI Technology Summit held December 7-9 in Shenzen, China heard Apple lay out plans to use a new chip that will standardize the wavelength used by AirPlay, Bluetooth, and WiFi, according to The iPhone 4S already has the Bluetooth 4.0 standard in place (so does the MacBook Air and the Mac Mini), so it will be a matter of bringing the other devices to that standard.

This standard uses low amounts energy and so works with battery powered devices. This can open up new opportunities in areas such as health care and gaming. Apple expects that the market for such AirPlay devices could expand to 7 times its current size by using the iPod Accessory Protocol (IAP) that was implemented in iOS 5. With a declared standard, developers will be better able to integrate products within the ecosystem.