March 31st 2003
By Mike Flaminio
The European Central Bank (ECB) has signed an agreement with Apple to employ QuickTime technology to stream and retransmit its reports and data on Apple web sites, reports MacGeneration. [note: no press release link available]. The agreement will also involve Apple's partner Akamai, in which Apple is an investor.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said that the ECB based its choice upon the open standards of QuickTime technology, compared with competing solutions.
"It is recognition of all the team which works on the integration of standard MPEG4 with QuickTime," Jobs said.
Wim Duisenberg, president of the ECB, said that "It is very beneficial for the ECB and that does not cost us anything."
Akamai will host a QuickTime channel, which will be available to consumers, business and governments who require exposure to Euro-zone regulations and guidelines. A number of central and eastern European countries, as well as Cyprus and Malta, are expected to accede formally to the European Union in 2004, and will join the Eurozone over the next few years.
The ECB is responsible for issuing Euro notes and coins, as well as fiscal and monetary policy making within the Eurozone.
Analysis: Exposure for Apple throughout eastern and eastern Europe can't be a bad thing, particularly as Mac sales have been falling in Europe more recently. There are few Mac sold in transitional economies. Prices are exceptionally high relative to developed economies. Selling three in a month might be an exceptional performance for a store. But these are emerging markets in which Apple will at least want to make an impact.