iPhone 4S is “Smart Ready” as Bluetooth 4.0 Gets a Brand Extension

Today the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announced that Bluetooth 4.0 will be promoted under the brand extension of “Bluetooth Smart Ready” and “Bluetooth Smart”. The aim of the brand extension is to create an “awareness around compatibility for new devices” that support the standard.

The iPhone 4S was the first mobile device to feature the new Bluetooth Smart standard. It promises a low-power consumption and low-latency implementation that opens the door to a number of new kinds of Bluetooth-powered devices. For instance, Bluetooth Smart devices could receive notifications for incoming calls, SMSs, and emails, as well as create an electronic leash capable of locating a device when within range (~5 meters).

While the iPhone 4S is not yet able to make extensive use of the features specific to Bluetooth Smart due to a lack of peripherals and accessories supporting the new standard, the hope of the brand extension effort is to encourage manufacturers to develop devices that will take full advantage of its capabilities.

Beyond the iPhone 4S, Apple has built Bluetooth 4.0 support into the Mac Mini and MacBook Air. Notably, today’s MacBook Pro update did not bring Bluetooth 4.0 support to that line.


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  • Anonymous

    “Smart Ready”

    Just add smart?

  • Anonymous

    It’s good that they are putting in the latest hardware; but they have a bit of catch up to do in the software part.

    Apple has been very slow in implementing the latest bluetooth profiles.  For example, my BMW can only have forward/backward track control as iOS4 only support AVRCP 1.0 or 1.1 profiles while most other phones are on to 1.3 and 1.4.   Apparently, iOS 5 has finally implemented AVRCP 1.3 which allows artist/track metadata display on your car screen.

    However, it is still not implementing the Message Access Profile (MAP) which has been available in many other phones such as Blackberry for the longest time.  It allows the car the retrieve/read out the emails/text messages from the phone.

  • Stephen Cleary

    iOS 5 did get an under-the-hood update that includes AVRCP 1.3, but not 1.4.

    You’re correct to point out that it lacks MAP. However I’m inclined to think Siri makes such a feature redundant.

  • Stephen Cleary

    Sure, it’s branding! Previously Bluetooth 4.0 was classified under the banner of Bluetooth Low Energy, which is a pretty clunky moniker.

    A device with 4.0 is now classified as Bluetooth Smart Ready, and a periphery would be classified as Bluetooth Smart. That way the consumer can easily determine if a device is combatible.

    Additionally, Bluetooth Smart Ready should find wider supported from manufacturers that can see an obvious revenue stream selling Bluetooth Smart peripherals.

  • Anonymous

    It’s poor branding.  I can see a non-tech-savvy customer, out to buy a “smartphone”, getting all confused when they see “Smart Ready” on the box (“What?  I thought it was a smart phone, but it says smart ready here, does that mean I have to add something to make it a smart phone?”).