Trust Adobe to hold a regional briefing on Flash on the day the Apple iPhone 4 was launched. The date, of course, had added significance now that Steve Jobs and co. have decided not to support Flash at all in any of its iPhones or iPads.
Despite that, Adobe predicts that 53 per cent of the more than 300 million smartphones to ship by 2012 will sport its Flash software to show off multimedia websites on the small screen. Currently, only 9 per cent of the less than 50 million smartphones have Flash.
This is a daring prediction, given that only a small number of Android Froyo 2.2 handsets – mainly the Google Nexus One – support Flash on the go. Other Android handsets such as the Motorola Droid/Milestone and HTC Desire are being updated in the coming months.
Adobe’s director for technology strategy and partner development for Flash, Anup Murarka, said at a media briefing yesterday that it expects other platforms to support Flash soon, including those on Nokia and Blackberry.
Asked by Techgoondu on if the bold prediction counts Android’s recent rise in popularity and public derision for Apple’s rejection of Flash, he carefully sidestepped the issue, pointing that the iPhone has only 43 per cent of the share on smartphones worldwide, and was “not dominant”.
As such, he added, the iPhone’s lack of support for Flash would not hamper it as much as many see it.
On HTML5 as a rival technology, he claimed Flash complements it. He pointed to the fact that previous versions of HTML had co-existed side by side with Flash.
More convincing though was his argument that HTML5 would not be universal (think Internet Explorer 9 rendering HTML5 differently from Apple Safari). Browser fragmentation, as before, will make it hard for developers to create websites that fit all browsers, which will lean them towards Flash’s cross-platform and familar embrace, he suggested.
Daring predictions, as we said earlier. Let’s see who’s the winner after the dust settles in the coming months.