Flash 10 coming to <i>most</i> smartphones in 2010

Adobe says its full version of Flash will be available on most smartphones in early 2010, but the technology still won't be available for Apple's iPhone.

BARCELONA--A full-fledged version of the Adobe Flash player is coming soon to a whole slew of smartphones. Unfortunately, Apple's iPhone isn't one of them.

Adobe announced at the GSMA Mobile World Congress here Monday that Flash Player 10, which is the full version of Flash that runs on PCs, will be available on smartphones running Windows Mobile, Google's Android, Nokia S60/Symbian, and the new Palm operating systems. Devices with Flash Player 10 are expected to hit the market starting in early 2010.

The company has worked for years on a lightweight incarnation of its Flash technology for mobile phones. Adobe executives said that about 40 percent of all phones that are shipped today use this version of its technology. But because Flash Lite doesn't allow for the same functionality as what's available on the Flash 10 desktop version of the technology, mobile users are missing out.

In November, Chief Technology Officer Kevin Lynch told attendees at Adobe's Max conference in San Francisco that the company would bring the full-fledged Flash Player 10 to smartphones.

Even though Flash 10 will be available for most smartphones early next year, the technology still remains on the wish list for iPhone users. But Adobe executives say that it's coming.

"We would love to see it on the iPhone, too," said Anup Murarka, director of Technology Strategy and Partner Development for Adobe. "But it's Apple's decision on when and how they support any new technology. So we will continue to work on it."

Adobe's CEO Shantanu Narayen alluded in comments he made to the Bloomberg news service at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this month that the company has had technical difficulties finding a workable version of Flash for the iPhone. But he said the two companies were continuing to work on it.

"It's a hard technical challenge, and that's part of the reason Apple and Adobe are collaborating," Narayen told Bloomberg Television. "The ball is in our court. The onus is on us to deliver."

 

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