I'm not sure what you're getting at with "Almost every Mozilla person I know/have met ... is a true apple aficionado". I just did a survey of the 7 Mozilla developers in the Auckland office:
-- 0 out of 7 own an iPhone
-- 0 out of 7 own an iPad
-- 1 out of 7 uses a Mac as their primary machine
Feel free to list the Mozilla people you know or have met, and identify which ones are "true Apple aficionados", but I suspect that you may not have a representative sample.
Even if it were true, I'm not sure what you're implying. That liking Apple products induces a desire to use patent-encumbered codecs?
> 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
Maybe true when GPU compositing is not enabled. Not true when GPU compositing is enabled, when I've profiled it. If you're seeing those results with GPU compositing enabled, please file a bug and we'll fix it.
Contrary to your speculation, this has little to do with desktop market share. On desktop we could support H.264 via Flash for a good while yet without too much user impact. The sticking point is mobile: to be relevant, we have to grow market share on mobile devices, which means we have to be able to play H.264 on those devices. And of course, on mobile, Flash is either non-existent or horrible and withering.