At 21:00 PST on the 8th of August, Apple broadcasted its first ever "as live" concert for free for iPhone users worldwide using its own HTTP streaming standard and with the help of Akamai networks.
The Content Delivery Network (CDN) has developed a technology finetuned for the iPhone and showcases it on its website. It explains that "Starting with iPhone OS version 3.0 and QuickTime X, you can send streaming audio and video over HTTP from an ordinary web server for playback on iPhone, iPod touch, or other devices."
Akamai uses the equivalent of the VBR (Variable Bit Rate) to adjust the speed at which content is streamed wirelessly, according to network parameters, and make sure that the playback remains fluid.
As for the concert itself, it featured British electronica group Underworld and can still be watched "as live" on any iPhone.
While there were no figures released as to the number of users actually tuning in, the news will probably give mobile phone networks (and partners) a few more things to worry about.
Firstly Apple could quite easily mull plans to deliver real-time concerts on the iPhone (or indeed any future devices) via iTunes. Given how expensive some concert tickets are, that could well be a significant money spinner.
Then there's the fact that network partners like O2 or AT&T might feel very uncomfortable if thousands of users simultaneously access a particular stream or video feed as this might cause significant disruptions.
It is worth noting that Apple is still sticking with proprietary technology, Quicktime, and stayed silent as to whether other such events will be organised.