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Japanese cellular company DoCoMo’s new handsets support 3GPP, an open standard technology built on MPEG-4—and thus can play video or audio content using Apple’s QuickTime 6.

That’s right, you will soon be able to watch QuickTime movie trailers and more on your cell phone.

According to Ryan Jones, an analyst with The Yankee Group, this is good news for Apple. The company needs more electronics manufacturers to adopt their standard so they can compete with Microsoft Windows media outside the PC realm. (I’m not going to mention Real, because frankly, just about everyone on the street in this business thinks Real will be bankrupt or sold within a year—Microsoft and Apple are the big two.)

According to Yahoo News: “The big hurdle that QuickTime has to clear is that it isn’t a nicely bundled solution of video creation management and security,” said Jones. “They don’t have some of the content management and DRM capabilities that Real and Microsoft have.”

Authoring content for the service can be done in a variety of applications such as Cleaner, Final Cut Pro and a new version of QuickTime, that Apple said would be released by the end of 2002. The new version will feature support for the file format and codecs used by DoCoMo.

“We’ve opened the platform to a whole new industry—this is big for the adoption of MPEG-4 and the standards-based approach,” said Brian Croll, Apple’s senior director software, Worldwide Product Marketing. “Ultimately this positions Apple as the platform of choice for content creation.”

I hope to God that Apple is right now negotiating with makers of home DVD players, licensing the software to them to enable new players to play QuickTime movies burned straight to DVD. Because that’s where the market is going to be.

How many home movie makers are going to want to shell out the $1000 for a DVD authoring program, and then want to spend the time it takes to figure out how to make DVDs, when it will be much easier to just burn their movie files straight to a blank disk (which can be had for less than $4 now at Best Buy) and pop it into the home player without all the bells and whistles?

For my money, that’s where this war is going to be fought and won. And I hope Apple is making the deals now. Not six months after Microsoft and Panasonic roll out the first line of players that use Media 9….

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