Many may be wondering why Apple chose the H.264 standard for Safari’s HTML5 video over Ogg Theora, which Firefox and Opera support in their HTML5 video implementations (Google’s Chrome supports both). Ogg Theora is royalty free while H.264 requires licensing which could come at a price. Wikipedia also uses Ogg Theora.
But for Apple and CEO Steve Jobs, the answer isn’t that simple. According to an email reply published last night, Jobs believes that Theora may infringe on other’s patents and those patent holders may soon be going after Theora:
As per usual, the answers are probably much more complicated than they appear on the surface.
As for marketshare, the graphic below from Encoding.com shows that H.264 adoption is outpacing Theora, while Flash encoding is dropping significantly.