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Adobe’s (s adbe) recent earnings report revealed that version 10 of its Flash Mobile framework will be available this fall. This is great news — that is, it’s great news for phones running Windows Mobile, Palm Web OS, Symbian and Android, which Flash Mobile 10 will be optimized to run on.
Just as AT&T’s (s att) logo was so obviously absent from the tethering and MMS features revealed at the WWDC keynote a couple weeks back, so is the iPhone’s lack of inclusion in the Flash Mobile announcement (slide 13).
The iPhone’s media capabilities are excellent. Obviously with iPod features, there are plenty of songs and movies that can be played by the device. But third-party applications, such as SlingPlayer and TV.com and even the included YouTube app, make it an ideal platform for Internet-based TV. I’d personally love to see a Hulu client for my iPhone, or a wider array of YouTube content available — but wishlist items like these seem to be best handled (these days) by utilizing Flash technology.
Most logically, Flash is not supported on the iPhone based on hardware capabilities/limitations. The 2G and even the 3G iPhone hardware platforms were fairly light on processing power (at least relative to the new 3G S). But the newest iPhone model is on par with Palm’s Pre and is certainly as well, if not better, equipped than many of the other smartphones on the market today. Were Apple (s aapl) to work with Adobe on an iPhone hardware optimized version of Flash, I believe a killer solution would be the result.
While Adobe has extended an olive branch in the past to develop for the iPhone platform (Why not? That iPhone, it’s so hot right now), Apple doesn’t seem to have jumped at the chance in the past nine months. Of course, Apple is known for not tipping its hand, but if we were going to see or hear anything on the Flash/iPhone topic, surely it would have been revealed at the WWDC this month.
One of the potential points of interest we did glean from the WWDC Keynote however, is Quicktime X. It’s feasible that Apple has neglected to play in the Flash arena because of its update to its longtime media player application. Is it possible that Quicktime X will bring new functionality that will compete with Flash? I really don’t see it happening, but the continued absence of discussion from Apple on the topic of bringing Flash to the iPhone makes me wonder.
So for now, while the iPhone 3.0 software update and the new iPhone 3G S are excellent advances to our favorite smartphones, we’ll still have to look on as other device platforms get all Flash-y.