Apple ready to sell out?

 Bloomberg is reporting that “two people familiar with the project” (ya I know  :)  ...)say Apple may license its AirPlay technology to allow streaming content from iOS devices to TVs. As it currently stands, AirPlay is only able to stream audio to select non-Apple devices, but the anonymous sources are suggesting it’s interested in developing the technology to include video. TVs with full AirPlay compatibility could even be coming as soon as this year.

The report claims that “companies pay Apple $4 for each device sold that carries AirPlay,” and the current agreement provides that video is not included."

AirPlay currently can stream any media to an Apple TV system, meaning anything bought via iTunes or self-created content (photos, home movies, etc). To any other television set, it’s audio only. Apple TV's minor success compared to the competitors has obviously made them think twice about this.  Apple could sell more iPads, iPhones, and iPod touches if it allowed outside electronics manufacturers to sync with AirPlay. Not to mention the fact that it could increase iTunes sales.  So Apple could make a ton of cash and rule the world?! (well ok, the streaming media industry)

This would be a somewhat unprecedented move for Apple, which doesn’t look to kindly on licensing its technology to outside developers – it’s a truly in-house company. But AirPlay was an exception before, and maybe allowing manufacturers to use it for audio was just the first step. Video could be next. And now is certainly the time: Apple would be stupid to ignore the mass bandwagon of consumers who are streaming media and looking for easy and convenient solutions to view their media.

There are several in the home theater industry who are already licensing AirPlay technology, like Pioneer and Marantz who don't develop Televisions.  Many TV manufacturers (like Sony) already have competing streaming video products. I really don't know who will be on board but it could be a good partnership.