updated 10:00 am EDT, Thu September 9, 2010
Apple in rare partnership with third party vendor
Apple has reportedly entered into a rare partnership with third-party vendor BridgeCo to help showcase its new AirPlay feature. At the company’s Sept 1st music event, CEO Steve Jobs demonstrated an iPad streaming the movie Up to the new Apple TV. Apple is said to have given BridgeCo -- a software and embedded audio chip specialist -- unique access to iTunes code, in particular to enable AirPlay on devices made by Denon, iHome, Marantz, JBL, and Bowers & Wilkens. All of the companies are listed on Apple’s website as featured partners.
Unusual in the arrangement is while companies have been able to develop independent solutions to support Apple features in the past, they have often had to resort to strategies such as reverse engineering. On this occasion, Apple is claimed to have chosen BridgeCo about a year ago to be a launch partner for AirPlay. According to CEO Gene Sheridan, stereo equipment featuring the technology will allow people to use their devices with a wide range of different products that should be ready this holiday season.
BridgeCo is a small outfit of 55 workers, yet to turn a profit; the partnership with Apple and accessory makers is expected to deliver at least half of its future revenue.