After a promising start and well-liked products, iPad keyboard and Thunderbolt dock maker Brydge has been forced to sell its IP and brand in foreclosure, though it may still reemerge.
Brydge was a trusted name in Apple accessories. Its keyboards were popular, offering premium aluminum designs and laptop-style hinges that not even Apple offered.
After initially beginning with an iPad keyboard, it soon expanded its portfolio to include Thunderbolt docking stations with its acquisition of Henge.
Things were looking great for the company as it launched its first keyboard to include a multi-touch trackpad. The first trackpad-keyboard combo stumbled when it finally arrived, as the cursor could not traverse the display smoothly.
This was due to Apple's software that, while smooth on its own Magic Keyboard, didn't play nice with third-party trackpads or mice. As Apple polished its software, this was solved, and a new firmware update brought the Brydge Pro+ to feature parity with Apple's performance.
An untimely demise
Over the last few months, AppleInsider was alerted to the lack of inventory on Brydge's website. All items were listed, but none were available to be purchased.
Would-be customers contacted AppleInsider to inquire about what had happened and when stock would return. After further investigation, it appeared their social media had also gone silent earlier this year.
The website fully went offline Friday, April 28, as the company's fate seemed sealed.
We'd been in discussions with co-CEO Nicholas Smith on the dire situation. He told AppleInsider that the company had been foreclosed on due to financial challenges resulting from COVID-induced supply chain issues and the delayed effects of retail store closures.
Its senior lender initiated the foreclosure process, and the Brydge name and intellectual property have been sold to a third party. As a result of the sale, Brydge has been forced to cease operations.
"I am extremely proud of what the Brydge team has accomplished, including the award-winning innovative solutions brought to market and setting a new benchmark for computer peripherals in quality and design," said Smith.
"I hope the acquirer of the Brydge brand and IP can continue the legacy of innovation of the BRYDGE brand and take the products and brand to new heights. We recognize there are current outstanding items, including unshipped ProDock preorders and other company matters, and we are working through these items as part of this process."
In an exclusive interview with AppleInsider, Nicholas Smith shared that because Brydge was unable to meet financial obligations and raise additional capital in a tenuous market, this led to a cascading effect that ultimately resulted in the senior lender pursuing foreclosure.
He candidly stressed that there was much more to the story but that it would be shared later due to the highly-confidential nature of the information.
Importantly to customers, it is Smith's understanding that the new owners intend on fulfilling the outstanding orders. Inventory has arrived to fulfill those orders but has been caught up in the foreclosure process.
Despite the tumultuous end of the original Brydge brand, many ex-employees remained positive about their experience. In conversations with AppleInsider, they praised the company's leadership and culture and spoke highly of the mutual respect seen from all levels of the organization.
While Toby Mander-Jones and Nicholas Smith aren't involved in the future of the now-sold brand, we can only surmise that we will likely see Brydge-branded products in the future.