Apple’s AirPlay could be ‘a disruptive force in the market’ – iSuppli

30 Sep 2010

Apple’s recently introduced audio streaming system AirPlay could become a top 10 consumer electronic product, research group iSuppli suggests.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs showed AirPlay at an event on 1 September. AirPlay can stream audio wireless or over Ethernet to third-party speaker docks, A/V receivers and speakers.

It goes beyond transmitting video from the iPad to the AppleTV and iSuppli reckons it can span across the entire audio industry.

Apple established a partnership with BridgeCo to implement AirPlay. BridgeCo is supported by a growing ecosystem of design partners, allowing rapid incorporation of AirPlay into numerous consumer electronic products.

“AirPlay represents another effort by Apple to stake a leadership position in the burgeoning connected home market,” said Jordan Selburn, lead analyst of consumer electronics for iSuppli.

“The technology leverages Apple’s dominant position in the MP3/PMP player market.

“With AirPlay, the iPad, iPod and iPhone can be the servers for a home filled with music — and music distribution via iTunes,” said Selburn.

iSuppli believes that networked audio is gaining momentum and internet radio is increasing demand for audio that can be accessed seamlessly around the home.

This seamlessness is somewhat of an issue, however, which iSuppli believes AirPlay can fix.

“Addressing the seamless connection of audio is the area where AirPlay has the potential to be a truly disruptive force in the market, potentially turning it into a top 10 consumer electronics segment with unit volumes perhaps even comparable to televisions,” Selburn said.