Now, this past week Adobe took a huge step in that direction by formally announcing it will discontinue development of mobile Flash Player and aggressively contribute to HTML5.
Given the fragmentation of the mobile market, and the fact that one of the leading mobile platforms (Apple’s iOS) was not going to allow the Flash Player in the browser, the Flash Player was not on track to reach anywhere near the ubiquity of the Flash Player on desktops.
In other words…
Apple Killed Flash.
Apple’s insistence in not including Flash on the iPhone and iPad, and the market share leading position of these mobile devices made Adobe realize that keeping investing on Mobile Flash was not the best use of their resources. In fact, the way things are going – they better get to work hardcore on getting a bigger piece of the HTML5 pie before they are potentially rendered irrelevant.
Mobile Flash Still Lives On… Sort of.
Not all is lost for Mobile Flash yet and Adobe plans on still supporting the platform for Android Tablets such as those made by Motorola and Toshiba, as well as the Blackberry Playbook.
Why would they do that?
Although Apple is the clear market leader, there are still plenty of other competitors with deep pockets with a vested interest in Mobile Flash.
Flash compatibility (poor performance notwithstanding) had been a key selling point for those looking to take on the iPad. It was a major component in ads from Toshiba, Research In Motion, Motorola and others looking to grab a piece of the tablet market.
Flash support isn’t immediately going away for devices that already have it, but it clearly has lost its luster as a selling point.”
Not every user is in love with the iPad.
I for one use both an iPad2 and a Motorola Xoom, and I far prefer the Xoom as my tablet of choice.
One of the main reasons why I prefer the Xoom over the iPad is the fact that I don’t have to deal with visiting non-mobile websites that use Flash and be presented with a big blank box on the iPad screen.
Flash is still very relevant in the online space.
The world may be fast turning to mobile as the primary way of surfing the web but there is still a large segment of the non mobile web that use Flash extensively.
Given that I don’t limit my mobile surfing to just mobile websites, I still have a preference for my Xoom over the iPad (same thing applies to my Motorola Atrix phone which surfs Flash enabled sites beautifully while my iPhone toting colleagues deal with a blank screen.)
To me, a mobile device should not present any limitations as to what you can or cannot view.
Still, I admit Apple has a lot more weight than my opinion and it’s only a matter of time until everything moves to HTML5. Pretty soon, Mobile Flash will be one of those now defunct technologies like Betamax that seemed really cool but didn’t quite catch on.
What do you think?
– Is there still room for Mobile Flash as Apple competitors push aggressively to maintain this key differentiating factor from the iPad?
– Do you find this step by Adobe to be a positive or a negative one to the overall development of the Mobile space?
– Was it playing fair by Apple to use the “muscle” of their market leading position to force Adobe to discontinue Mobile Flash?