I don’t believe I got any facts wrong, I am not trying to be argumentative and admit I did not consider BT 5.0 (which few few phones in the US support and presumably more will going forward).
But my point is mainly that BLE was never intended as an audio streaming protocol, while bluetooth standard is, and there is little hope for non apple users that one will be available anytime soon.
As an example, go to Amazon and search for BLE headphones and there are none, because none implement it – they all do using classic even the very small in bud earphones some supporting up to 4-5 hours of streaming using bluetooth 4.1, 4.2, and 5 chipsets.
Apple’s own earbuds use a proprietary connection (probably BLE) when connecting to newer Apple devices, but require the latest OS be installed and fallback to traditional Bluetooth when working with older Apple and non-Apple devices. As far as I can tell, the pairing process is more involved on older devices, but there is no impact on battery life.
Apple <–> HA Mfg <–> HA peripherals can use whatever standard they want as long as it is supported by Apple phones and whatever chipsets they use in their hardware. And yes, it likely can be optimized for better battery usage – in this case I don’t know all the details.
When I started looking for HA’s I was quite surprised that they only worked with Apple phones – I thought this was quite crazy. MFI comes from iOS and is primarily a certification program (made for Apple), and I have no idea how it is implemented for HAs.
But I would imagine that others would follow Phonak’s lead as the worldwide market share of Android is much higher than iOS (I think it is over 85% in 2018).
I don’t think power was the biggest or only challenge. Think about this – even MFI connected HAs likely talk to the iOS device using MFI and must maintain connections to each other to coordinate noise cancellation, etc. So that would be 4 connections total vs. 3 for Phonak’s implementation (unless they talk through the phone connection or don’t communicate L<–>R during Streaming … who knows???
So yes, Bluetooth Classic A2DP probably uses more energy than Made For Apple HAs (and I assume that’s built on BLE, though I couldn’t even find this confirmation online).
Because of the much larger market share of Android, and the fact that that the ASHA standard is an while A2DP is used for all earbuds and headphones – it is going to be up to other HA manufacturers to support A2DP if they want to support non Apple (and Apple) users in a uniform and quick fashion.
And I believe there are zero latency issues, and the power impact is maybe 5-10%, it’s just harder to do and takes more work on the HA side.
But the alternative today (MFI on Android) simply doesn’t exist.
And I can say from personal experience, supporting anything BLE (I am talking simple IoT and wearables) across multiple Android devices is a challenge compared to supporting A2DP which all Android devices uniformly support.
I am sorry if my e-mails have sounded preachy or argumentative, I was just trying to clear up some misconceptions because I do work with BLE protocols quite often.
BTW – I have the Mavericks with the disposable 312 battery, and they lasted 9 days for my first week of using them…and that was wearing them all day, constantly connected to my phone (every alert came though), and streaming and / or phone calls 2+ hours / day.