Does Apple’s Resistance to BlueTooth Playback Have More to do with Marketing Than Technology?

earpiece 011_Small One of the things I find absolutely frustrating about the iPhone is the lack of a BlueTooth solution to allow for music playback and voice or speech input. I have ranted and raved about that incessantly. I find it hard to believe that a company like Apple can’t come up with a workable solution for this when it has existed on other devices for, well longer than the iPhone has been in existence. I’ve often thought that Apple’s inability to deliver this had something to do with the ridiculous jungle of restrictions placed on them by content providers (that nasty acronym DRM perhaps), but I’m beginning to think something else might be at play.

earpiece 010_Small Last night my wife and my schedules went completely kooky. After the matinee performance of Southern Crossroads at Wayside Theatre she had some business to take care of and I had to drop off some information at a board member’s house. Her plan was to head by the grocery store on the way home but she was worried we would get a late start on dinner. I volunteered to do the grocery shopping. I’m listening to an audio book that I really enjoy and on the trip to the store was piping it into the car. (I wasn’t using a BlueTooth solution for this, but one of iTrip’s plug it in solutions.)   When I got to the store, I wanted to continue listening so I pulled out my earbuds and plugged them in. No big deal right?

Well, as I was strolling the aisles and doing the shopping I saw a number of folks all wearing the same and easily recognizable earbuds indicating that they were listening to something through one of Apple’s players. The thought struck me that perhaps this was by design on Apple’s part. Now, go anywhere and you see quite a few BlueTooth headset solutions just about anywhere these days, but nothing about them indicates whether they wearer is listening to music on an MP3 player or merely wearing it in anticipation of a call on a phone. Of course there are those who despise BlueTooth headsets for their ungainly look.

So, I’m just wondering if Apple (always design and brand conscious) wants to keep us all from enjoying music, audio books, etc over a BlueTooth headset in order to continue to push its image? Every set of white earbuds sends a message.

I remember fondly using a BlueTooth headset on Windows Mobile devices to listen to podcasts while driving, and being able to continue to do so when I’d head into a store or other location. Incoming calls would interrupt what was playing and all would be fine. Too bad, Apple can’t seem to figure this one out. Or maybe they have and they are just being stubborn.