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Apple Partners With Japanese Cell Phone Company To Bring MPEG-4 To 3GPP Phones

Apple Partners With Japanese Cell Phone Company To Bring MPEG-4 To 3GPP Phones

by , 2:15 PM EST, December 11th, 2002

C|Net is reporting a major development in the multimedia standards war for Apple. According to the news outlet, Apple and NTT DoCoMo, Japan's dominant wireless carrier -- the word "docomo" means "everywhere" in Japanese -- have picked QuickTime as the preferred content creation platform for making 3GPP content. 3GPP is one of the most advanced wireless telephony platforms on the market, and is a very big deal in Japan. While there are no 3GPP carriers in the US, which lags behind both Europe and Japan in this area, a deal with DoCoMo will help Apple and the other MPEG-4 advocates position the technology favorably against Microsoft's technologies. From C|Net:

Apple's QuickTime is poised to make headway as an audio and video delivery platform for mobile phones in Japan, with new standards-compatible software on its way and a fresh endorsement by leading wireless carrier NTT DoCoMo.

In coming weeks, Apple will introduce a new version of its multimedia delivery system, QuickTime 6, with support for 3GPP, or 3rd Generation Partnership Project--telecommunications standards for mobile systems. 3GPP is built on the MPEG-4 standard for the delivery of digital audio and video to PCs, set-top boxes and wireless devices.

Apple's coming software dovetails with new 3GPP-compatible wireless technology from Tokyo-based NTT DoCoMo, one of the world's largest mobile phone operators. On Monday, the wireless carrier, which has about 44 million subscribers, said it will introduce three new 3G (third-generation) mobile phones in the next several weeks that will allow people to view video clips wirelessly, as well as e-mail the video files to a PC, among other new features.

With its 3GPP-compatible QuickTime release, Apple opens the possibility for cell phone users to create videos using its content creation tools, including Final Cut Pro, and view them on NTT DoCoMo's next-generation phones. People will also be able to use DoCoMo's phones to capture videos, e-mail them to the PC and view them with QuickTime.

The full article includes more information and comments from people in the industry, and is an interesting read.

The Mac Observer Spin:

This is huge news in the grand scheme of things. Those of us in the US might not see how this will help Apple, but a deal with DoCoMo adds enormous weight to QuickTime as an industry standard, at least in the global arena.

It's too bad that US carriers are so pathetically behind the curve in this area. Japan and Europe both tend to push the envelope in wireless telephony, while the US follows several years behind.

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