Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

AirPlay's hidden agenda: Apple TV sets

March 24, 2011: 8:08 AM ET

Steve Jobs may have found a way to get TV makers to put Apple's technology in their sets

Screen grab: Apple Inc.

Apple (AAPL) is talking to television makers about building a new generation of HDTV sets with Apple TV technology built in.

That's the thrust of the report Bloomberg posted Wednesday that cites "two people familiar with the project" and quotes a Pioneer vice president on the record as saying "Apple connectivity in AirPlay is a blessing for an industry trying to move the needle forward on sales."

AirPlay, for those who missed the import of the brief demo at Apple's Sep. 1 special event, is the company's proprietary technology for streaming audio/video content from Apple mobile devices (iPhones, iPads, etc.) to the Apple TV set-top box.

Apple has been licensing the audio portion of AirPlay to speaker manufacturers for $4 a pop. Now, it seems, it's negotiating with TV makers for the rights to put AirPlay video chips and software in their TV sets.

It sounds like Steve Jobs may have found a way to make money in a market he famously told the audience at All Things D last June that there was no money to be made.

Want a preview of your Apple-branded TV-viewing future? Apple has already created the YouTube video, posted below the fold.

Also on Fortune.com:

[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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