Adobe can’t get any sympathy from anyone these days. Flash has become public enemy #1 if Apple is to be believed, and there is a rush to adopt HTML5 to kill Flash off once and for all. Now come the folks from ARM blaming Adobe’s delays getting Flash 10.1 into production as the reason we don’t see any smartbooks on the market. Smartbooks were believed to be a hot product segment as recently as a year ago, and according to ARM not having Flash ready in time forced OEMs to hold off on releasing smartbooks. One has to wonder if that delay (coupled with the rise of the slate thanks to the iPad) has killed off the entire product category before it even launched.
ARM vice president Ian Drew told ZDNet UK that “We thought [smartbooks] would be launched by now, but they’re not. I think one reason is to do with software maturity. We’ve seen things like Adobe slip — we’d originally scheduled for something like 2009.”
In the rapidly moving world of mobile technology, such a delay can be fatal. Smartbooks are aimed at consumers wanting an Internet appliance, something between a netbook and a smartphone. That’s the exact target of the iPad, and its initial success is not something smartbook OEMs are willing to ignore. Drew admitted that ARM’s smartbook partners are now looking at producing slates to compete with the iPad. Sounds like maybe Kevin was right.
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