According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple is considering licensing out its AirPlay technology to a number of consumer electronics companies to enable video streaming to devices like HDTVs. Such a move would ostensibly negate the need for the Apple TV. Apple currently licenses its AirPlay technology to companies with products that stream audio from iOS devices.
“Apple doesn’t typically license its software to other manufacturers,” the report notes, “though it has made an exception with AirPlay for audio. Apple licenses the technology to electronics companies including Pioneer Corp. and D&M Holdings Inc., which use the technology to stream music to speakers and receivers.”
Interestingly, Apple charges companies making use of audio streaming via AirPlay $4 per license, with terms that preclude them from streaming video.
Under the plan, Apple would license its AirPlay software to consumer-electronics makers that could use it in devices for streaming movies, TV shows and other video content, said the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the plans havent been made public. Apple now only licenses AirPlay for streaming audio. Devices that could be used for video may be available this year, one of the people said.
An expanded AirPlay would let users stream programming wirelessly from an Apple mobile device to a TV that carries the technology. That may spur wider use of Apples services and devices in consumers living rooms.
Indeed, with the multitude and growing number of iOS devices out on the market, the built-in user base of folks with AirPlay enabled devices provides an attractive market for HDTV manufacturers constantly looking to get a leg up on the competition in a crowded marketplace.