Apple joining the Alliance for Open Media is a really big deal. Now all the most powerful tech companies – Google, Microsoft, Apple, Mozilla, Facebook, Amazon, Intel, AMD, ARM, Nvidia – plus content providers like Netflix and Hulu are on board. I guess there’s still no guarantee Apple products will support AV1, but it would seem pointless for Apple to join AOM if they’re not going to use it: apparently AOM membership obliges Apple to provide a royalty-free license to any “essential patents” it holds for AV1 usage.
It seems that the only thing that can stop AOM and AV1 eclipsing patent-encumbered codecs like HEVC is patent-infringement lawsuits (probably from HEVC-associated entities).
I can barely believe this is still a thing, and that it seems like a positive outcome.