Is Apple set for a major streaming video foray?

iMac. iTunes. iPhone. Is there an iStream in Apple's future?

Of all the things the "i" giant has done well, streaming video has been one of its perceived weaknesses. But Apple appears to be taking a new look at the market and, as always, already is making a big splash.

Both its iPhone and iTouch recently added video cameras - a glaring missing component compared to other smart devices already in the marketplace, and Apple this week approved a pair of apps capable of streaming live video.

Ustream is a simple to use, free app that allows users to broadcast live to an unlimited audience, and also allows users to chat or use Ustream's Twitter mashup. It even will tell you how many viewers you have and let you conduct polls. Ustream has been around since 2007 and already has 2 million registered users. Apple also just approved Knocking Live Video in the App Store. Granted, it's technology that's been around awhile, but it's new to Apple, and that could be a game changer for the industry.

Wired reports Apple has taken other steps that position it to jump into streaming video, including the construction of a data center in North Carolina and the acquisition of Lala, which could mean a major revamp of its iTunes service.

What it all points to, says Wired, is a major push by Apple to get into a market - life sharing or personal broadcasting -- dominated by YouTube and made even more popular by the Flip mini-video camera. And it's a market analysts say will explode in the next two to three years.

For more:
See this Wired article

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