Among the inaugural companies to produce iPad keyboards that converted the tablets into computers, Brydge, has shut down, leaving unfulfilled preorders and horrified former workers. There were minimal comments from the business or former workers when the shutdown was reported on May 4 by the Mac rumour and news website 9to5 Mac. Kevin Purdy at Ars Technica wrote more about Chance Miller’s piece.
Bridge purchased HengeDocks in 2019 in an effort to diversify its product offering, but nothing ever seemed to take off. While some customers apparently had a 20% return rate for some of their products, others weren’t as pleased. There is no information on people awaiting orders or what will happen to their properties.
Brydge, a startup making keyboard accessories for iPad, Mac and Microsoft Surface products, is ceasing operations after multiple rounds of layoffs due to mismanagement, misleading statements from co-CEOs, and an overall hostile working environment. Customers who pre-ordered the company’s most recent product have been left in the dark since then, and its website went completely offline earlier this year.
Pre-orders for a new version of Brydge’s ProDock, the Thunderbolt-enabled docking accessory that the company began selling after purchasing HengeDocks in 2019, were made available in January.
According to reports, that transaction went as well as a deal of that nature can. Higher-ups from HengeDock stayed at Brydge to make sure that the transfer of intellectual property along with other logistical requirements went smoothly. Matthew Vroom, the creator and CEO of HengeDock, left the organisation in November 2019, not long after that acquisition was completed.
After the HengeDock acquisition was completed, Brydge’s product selection expanded beyond the high-end, iPad keyboards inspired by Apple that had been the foundation of the business’s early success. There was a growing air of optimism across the business.
Brydge Pro +
Apple’s iPad keyboard attachments were directly competed with by Brydge, but the business distinguished itself with higher-quality aluminium materials, a laptop-style hinge and form factor, and keyboard backlighting. As an alternative to Apple’s less laptop-like Smart Keyboard Folio accessories, Brydge might survive on the market.
Behind the scenes, Brydge was also developing a version of its iPad keyboard accessories with a built-in touchpad, which would significantly increase its product selection. According to earlier reports, Brydge has been developing iPad keyboards with trackpads since 2018.
The business sued Libra for what it believed was a copycat version of its product while also teasing the Pro+ keyboard & trackpad adapter for iPad Pro in October 2019. When Libra agreed to alter its design in order to stop infringing on the Brydge patent, the dispute was resolved out of court. The people said that one of Brydge’s most prized assets was its patent portfolio.
In January 2020, Brydge made the Pro+ official announcement at the Consumer Electronics Show. At CES, the business displayed the new accessory at a booth where attendees could interact with it. The Pro+ was made available for pre-order by Brydge, and deliveries started soon after.
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