Apple’s Senior Director of Product Marketing for QuickTime and Graphics, Frank Casanova, recently gave a feature presentation at the CTIA Wireless I.T. & Entertainment 2004 conference in San Francisco, Calif. Apple has now posted Casanova’s presentation online in QuickTime and MPEG-4 format. Casanova’s presentation provides illumination about Apple’s strategy for winning a place in the burgeoning mobile multimedia marketplace as a core provider of software and hardware services to content providers, content delivery companies and handset makers.
Casanova’s presentation, given to the mobile wireless communication technology leaders who attended this year’s conference, positions Apple as an end-to-end provider of services for media creation, delivery and playback in the mobile marketplace. Apple has a host of software tools used to create and edit multimedia and ready it for delivery, said Casanova, which can be accomplished using Xserves and Mac OS X Server and played back on Macs, PCs and cell phones.
Earlier reports from the conference suggested Casanova downplayed QuickTime’s availability for cell phones, but Casanova’s actual comments offer a very different perspective. Casanova focused particular attention during his presentation to explain that QuickTime is interoperable with the multimedia capabilities defined by the 3GPP and 3GPP2 standards used increasingly by mobile communications devices.
Casanova explained that companies that make 3GPP or 3GPP2-compliant telephones “read from the same recipe book we do.” As a result, said Casanova, it isn’t necessary for Apple to make a discrete QuickTime player for each and every phone that comes out. In fact, Casanova finds such a prospect very unappealing.
“We don’t have to put our player on a single handset … I would hate it if our engineering guys had to spend all their time porting players to these phones. You can’t keep up,” said Casanova. “That’s a losing proposition. We were compatible with more handsets a year and a half ago than the other guys [Microsoft and Real] will ever be, just based on the fact that we don’t have to do any players and the [rest of the] industry does.”
Casanova later demonstrated QuickTime’s ability to playback video content created on a mobile phone, and its ability to ready content on a computer for playback on a phone. He also provided attendees with demonstrations of Advanced Video Codec (AVC) or H.264, a scalable high-quality video codec Apple will offer in Mac OS X v10.4 “Tiger” when it’s released in 2005.