RIM’s video support has always been kind of flakey. Since OS 4.5 they have finally started to support YouTube and other 3GPP streaming sites but the quality has been atrocious. Nothing near the H264 high quality video you get on other smartphones.
RIM’s Co-CEO Mike Lazaridis answered some of the reasons why RIM has been lagging so far behind on video streaming to their iconic smartphones. He said it is “far from certain that video will become the killer app that defines smartphones.” He thinks that video is causing a huge surge in traffic that networks cannot handle unless the develop a more efficient delivery system. He is worried that networks have barely been able to handle the 3G browsing experience and that streaming video might push networks over the edge.
Lazaridis rightfully points out that BlackBerrys use about 1/3 of the bandwidth of other smartphones so carriers can support 3 times as many BlackBerrys with the same amount of bandwidth. Still I do not think that RIM will have the luxury of being able to sit on the sidelines with mobile video. They will need to come up with a solution for mobile video VERY soon or sit on the sidelines while all of their competitors forge ahead with current solutions.
What do you think? Is mobile video streaming important to you?