The Bluetooth Special Interest Group, which manages the development of the Bluetooth standard, has elevated Apple to the status of Promoter member, giving the company more influence in the development of the standard.

Apple has now attained the highest level of membership in the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG). As a Promotor member, Apple now enjoys voting rights, allowing it to help drive the future of the Bluetooth standard more directly than they have been able to in the past, though they have often provided input.

From the Bluetooth SIG:

"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."

Other Promotor members of the Bluetooth SIG include Ericsson, Intel, Lenovo, Microsoft, Nokia, and Toshiba.

In the last few years, Bluetooth has become an essential technology for all of Apple's devices. Aside from connectivity with accessories like wireless headphones, Bluetooth forms the backbone of advanced features on OS X and iOS such as AirDrop and Handoff.

Source: Bluetooth SIG, Business Wire