Here’s an interesting bit of news out of IFA today. TCL this morning announced a deal with Tempow that will bring the French company’s clever Bluetooth streaming protocol to its forthcoming Plex flagship device.
TCL follows Motorola in adopting the Tempow Audio Profile (TAP) technology. The protocol, which Tempow showed off a few IFAs back, is software-based, allowing devices to stream to multiple Bluetooth headphones and speakers simultaneously.
The company has clearly gained notice, raising a $4 million funding round back in March of 2018. As Romain noted in his write up of that news, more than five million devices are using Tempow’s stack, with the Moto X4 leading the way.
TCL and Tempow are making no bones about who they’re going after with this one. A press release touting the news mentions Apple several times, clearly targeting the chips that form the connections between its handsets and headphones/speakers. (Surely the news arriving a week before the new iPhones is a key part of that positioning.)
“There is a significant movement across mobile manufacturers to innovate and unlock the true potential of Bluetooth – the most recent example being Apple’s rumored Audio Sharing in iOS13,” said Tempow CEO Vincent Nallatamby said in a release. “What TCL built with Tempow far outstrips Apple’s sharing features, which are limited to two devices and only AirPods or Beats products.”
The Plex looks to be a solidly built mid-tier 6.53-inch handset, set for launch in parts of Europe and Australia. Meantime, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see Tempow’s tech hit an even wider adoption among Android handset makers in the coming year.