updated 02:40 pm EDT, Thu June 10, 2010
Adobe optimistic Flash will be majority feature
Adobe late Wednesday made aggressive predictions for the adoption of Flash on smartphones. It now expects 53 percent of the 300 million phones shipping in 2012 to support Flash. The developer also sees a total installed base of over 250 million smartphones using Flash the same year.
Technology strategy lead Anup Murarka didn't expect Apple to have a change of heart regarding Flash for the iPhone but reiterated that it might not matter. As Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, webOS and Windows Phone 7 should all have Flash 10.1 in the near future, Adobe would have the advantage of diversity to boost its numbers.
Much is riding on Flash for Adobe, as it's now an important part of the company's revenues. Murarka clarified, however, that nearly all of Adobe's revenue from Flash came from developer tools like Flash CS5, not the actual playback. Sites can normally use the Flash content they produce for free. The firm is hoping that Apple's iOS 4 rules banning cross-compiling tools will ultimately favor its choices as it could lead developers to reduce or cut iOS development due to the high cost of building a separate app version.
How well Adobe might succeed is still uncertain. After multiple delays, it finally launched Flash 10.1 beta for Android last month, but so far it can only target Nexus One owners who have already upgraded to Android 2.2. Phones shipping preloaded with Flash 10.1 aren't due to arrive until the second half of this year, and the beta has already been criticized for bogging down the web on those phones that use it.