Free Android phones coming to Adobe employees

Adobe employees will be encouraged to use Android as the company plans to give away phones around the time of Google's I/O conference.

This will come as little surprise to anyone who followed technology news this week, but let there be no doubt about the preferred smartphone platform at Adobe: it isn't the iPhone.

HTC Incredible Droid
Adobe hasn't decided on which Android phone--such as HTC's Incredible--to give employees, but wants to encourage Android use internally. CNET

Adobe confirmed Thursday that it plans to demonstrate a version of Flash for Google's Android software in May at the Google I/O conference, in responding to Apple CEO Steve Jobs' criticism of Flash in an open letter. And the company wants to make sure its employees use those phones: it's preparing to give away Android phones running Flash to employees, according to three sources familiar with the plan.

It's not clear which phone employees will receive (various HTC phones and the Nexus One were mentioned) and it will not be a mandatory shift. But in the time-honored technology industry practice of "dog-fooding" one's own products, Adobe and Google want to encourage Adobe employees to spend as much time using Android and the Flash Player 10.1 as possible.

Google gives away Android phones like they are party favors: it's planning to give every Google I/O attendee either a Motorola Droid or Nexus One, and it gave away Nexus Ones to an audience of CIOs earlier this month at an event for Google Apps.

It's also not clear if this will be a perk just for developers or for the entire company: Adobe had about 8,600 employees worldwide at the end of last November. The company did not respond to a request for comment about its plans.

Correction: This post incorrectly stated that Google plans to give I/O attendees their choice of a Motorola Droid or Nexus One; Google is making that decision based on the attendees' location.

 

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