WebRTC headed for Apple’s Safari?

WimageIt looks like Apple’s browser Safari will finally take on WebRTC.

Starting in February 2016, Apple finally showed signs that it would adopt WebRTC, which is now the undisputed worldwide standard for video calls, like click-to-call and streaming on the Web without requiring any kind of plugin, for Safari.

Apple has updated the developer toolbox (WebKit) for Safari adding WebRTC to its list of projects “in development.” No timeline has been given for when the support would be introduced in the iOS and OS X versions of Safari, although Apple has advertised a full-time WebRTC developer job.

But the industry has widely interpreted these moves as a move towards full-scale adoption of WebRTC, which is already available on Google Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Safari represents a full 10-15 percent of the entire browser market, according to StatCounter, so having WebRTC there would be a major step forward for the technology. Facebook Messenger has used WebRTC for some time, and, in April, Slack launched voice calling features based on WebRTC.

Nick Galea, CEO commented on WebRTC:
“Clearly, WebRTC will do for communications what HTML did for information – start a revolution that will make communications richer (video) and accessible to all (free). Its built-in security features, including end-to-end encryption, have gained producer and user confidence.”

Technavio research shows the rapid growth of WebRTC-enabled mobile apps. This is not surprising as people are already comfortable using their smartphones for a wide variety of communications.

How fast is WebRTC growing? Devices by 2019.

The market for WebRTC is expected to grow very rapidly all across the globe, according to research by IHS, from $569.2 million in 2015 to $4.45 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 50.9 percent. Adoption by Apple will certainly reinforce market growth – the number of regular users is expected to surpass 2 billion by 2020.

3CX has already fully implemented WebRTC in its set of Unified Communications solutions. With 3CX, a WebRTC click-to-call link is supplied with softphone and smartphone clients, and can be used to make audio or video calls directly from the Web to the appropriate worker. WebRTC also empowers 3CX web conferencing, and many more WebRTC features are on the way, including an integrated softphone.


The Story

The story goes like this. On October 19, 2015, Apple posted a new position on their job board with the title: WebKit Media Engineer – WebRTC the full job post is here: https://thenewdialtone.com/apple-webrtc/.

In February 2016, ( I regret that there is no exact date) the first elements of WebRTC appeared in the Mac port of WebKit — a kind of developer’s toolbox: http://webrtcbydralex.com/index.php/2016/03/27/how-to-test-evaluate-webrtc-in-safari/#more-288. Later in February, Apple quietly put WebRTC fully into its WebKit. https://webkit.org/status/#specification-webrtc.

There was no public announcement. But the news was quickly picked by a group called “WebRTCinWebKit,” which includes Ericsson Research and WebRTC expert Alex Gouillard, http://www.webrtcinwebkit.org/. The Register also picked up the story in April 2016, http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/04/13/apple_rolling_webrtc_into_webkit/.

The No Jitter April post is here: http://www.nojitter.com/post/240171589/apple-jumps-on-the-webrtc-bandwagon. As the StatCounter article shows, Safari represents 10-15 percent of the browser market, and so is important for industry-wide acceptance of WebRTC.

The overall market for WebRTC is projected to grow from $569.2 million in 2015 to $4.45 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 50.9 percent during the forecast period, according to Markets & Markets. (http://news.sys-con.com/node/3765878).