If you'll note— not a single comparison post has been made with figures comparing battery life for "hardware" H.264 platform decoders and the WebM/Theora decoders (which on some platforms are hardly any less hardware than the H.264 decoders).
Perhaps its a big deal on some devices, perhaps it's not. The thing is no one is posting the figures. And in my own profiling Firefox appears to spend more CPU time moving the pixels around in the rendering pipeline than it does actually _decoding_ the video. (Due mostly to a respectable, if not at all pragmatic, decision to make <video/> first class in the HTML rendering model thus breaking all the classic accelerated video rendering)
In light of all that, I think it's deceptive to cast this as a hardware compatibility story. It's a content compatibility story— for sure.
But I think it's also at least a little bit of a scapegoating for Firefox's declining market share— market share loss that has little to do with video and a lot to do with those chrome popups on every Google site and the hermetic seals on new Apple devices. But I thought the tone was clear enough for the discussion— people feel the declining relevance. "We Must Do Something. This is Something. Then it Must Be Done.". That fact that a lot of their market share is being lost due to aggressive marketing by their primary financial sponsor has to cause a heck of a lot of cognitive dissonance.
I think it's also a story about Apple's increasing influence on the tech decision maker market— Almost every Mozilla person, technical or otherwise, I know/have met (with the exception of the codec DSP folks) is a true apple aficionado, with one or two of each of the shiny idevices. How do you make a platform with a modest market share as important as a platform ten times larger? Make it appeal to the project managers, engineers, and managers of technology companies. With influence like that simple inaction, "don't ship a codec you don't hold patents on" changes the world, Mozilla used to have that kind of influence. I thought it still did, I guess Mozilla doesn't think so. Brilliant strategy, but one which in Apple's hands doesn't bode well for the world of Free Software at all.
And of course, this is a story about Google's lost direction and failure to scale— spend $125 million buying a codec company to free its codec, make grand promises... take all the engineering cost to deploy the codec on Youtube, but only to leave it incompatible with their new advertising incentives program. Ultimately resulting in a reguression to fewer and fewer videos available via WebM. Though this aspect is a story that has been covered in many places.