A big step towards the final elimination of the headphone jack in smartphones
Thanks to the company’s recent move, Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX HD encoders, which provide high-quality Bluetooth audio, are now free to use on Android devices. Prior to this, device manufacturers had to pay a licensing fee to use encoders in their devices, with commissions as high as $6,000 for a one-time payment along with a per-device charge.
The move means that any developer building Android-based firmware can now add Qualcomm aptX or aptX HD support. The encoders are now part of the Android Open Source Project (AOSP) Apache license and are free to use. While this change may not be significant for the average Android user, it could lead to more devices supporting hi-fi wireless audio format.
First of all, this will support hi-fi for budget devices and audio players with Android on board. Perhaps some manufacturers will even release a firmware update, where they will add support for this codec.
Qualcomm explained that while aptX and aptX HD encoders are now free to use, companies will still have to pay a licensing fee to use other aspects of aptX, such as the decoder on the receiving end of a Bluetooth connection.
That is, the headphones themselves or speakers that support this codec will not become cheaper, but the popularization of the format through free installation on sound sources may encourage audio device manufacturers to buy licenses.
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Author: Oleksandr Kovalenko Publication date: 03/20/2023
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