Apple has released QuickTime 6.3, introducing Third-Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) support to its multimedia application.

3GPP enables users to create, deliver and play back rich multimedia content over wireless networks. It offers Advanced Audio Coding (AAC), Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) audio, MPEG-4 and H.263 video, 3G Text (TX3G) and native .3gp file format support.

QuickTime Pro users can use these features to create 3G content on their Macs as well.

Apple also said that QuickTime 6 has been downloaded over 100 million times in less than ten months. Version 6.3 lets users share high-quality video, audio and text on next-generation wireless devices, including cell phones and PDAs.

QuickTime 6.3 is also part of the system install for Apple's new versions of iSync and its 3GPP component, which is available as a separate release.

Other features include automatic streaming-transport detection for more reliable streaming, improvements to digital video, audio and video synchronization, and enhanced support for Keynote, iMovie and iDVD.

The 6.3 update reflects Apple’s belief that PDA and handheld functions will eventually be rolled into mobile-phone architectures. Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the recent D: All things Digital conference: "We believe cell phones are going to carry this information. We didn't think we'd do well in the cell-phone business. What we've done instead is written what we think is some of the best software in the world to start syncing information between devices. We believe that mode is what cell phones need to get to."

Apple senior VP worldwide product marketing Phil Schiller said: "QuickTime 6.3 delivers the first 3GPP content creation and playback software, and extends our industry support of open standards beyond the desktop into the mobile market."

Apple has already seen one major telecoms firm adopt QuickTime - Japan's NTT DoCoMo. Managing director of that company, Takeshi Natsuno, said: "Ours is a standards-based 3G service which allows users to enjoy video-clip email service. We are thrilled that QuickTime 6.3 has made standards-based content creation and desktop playback a reality for NTT DoCoMo subscribers that can now share personal movies captured on their phone with family and friends."

Major handset supplier Nokia also welcomed the release. Nokia's senior technology manager of multimedia technologies Janne Juhola said: "Nokia welcomes the release of QuickTime 6.3, featuring support for 3GPP codecs and formats. Our company is strongly committed to the creation of an ecosystem in which open standards ensure interoperability across a wide range of device categories, networks, services and applications. Nokia believes the inclusion of 3GPP support in QuickTime creates a wealth of exciting new opportunities for both desktop and mobile phone users."

The software is available now as a free download for Mac and Windows users from Apple or through Mac OS X's software update feature.