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Earlier in the year, the Bluetooth SIG appointed an Apple employee as secretary of the board. The two institutions are developing their relationship further today with the announcement that Apple is now a Promoter Member of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group. This is the highest level with the organization and gives Apple voting rights.

Promoter members get voting rights on Bluetooth corporate matters and a guaranteed seat on the board of directors. Current promoter members Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia and Toshiba ‘unanimously welcomed’ Apple to the position.

This means that Apple will now have significant influence over the technological roadmap for Bluetooth in cooperation with these other companies.

In a statement, Bluetooth SIG chairman said that Apple has been an influential part of the Bluetooth ecosystem for a long time.

“Apple has long been a key participant in the Bluetooth ecosystem,” said Toby Nixon, chairman of the Bluetooth SIG Board of Directors. “Since 2011, the company has provided guidance and knowledge to the Bluetooth SIG through its participation as an Associate Board Member. We’re excited to welcome Apple to its new role in the organization and on the SIG board.”

Flagship features in Apple’s devices rely heavily on Bluetooth to function, such as AirDrop, Handoff and Continuity. Most notably, the Apple Watch was made possible by the invention of low-energy Bluetooth standards for communication with the iPhone.

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