The HTML5 boom is coming. Fast.

Speeding car by EJ Callow on flickr

Updated. The tech industry’s movers and shakers have been saying for months now that the HTML5 is very important. New data released Friday indicates that HTML5 is not just going to be big, it’s going to be huge — and it’s coming fast.

More than 2.1 billion mobile devices will have HTML5 browsers by 2016, up from just 109 million in 2010, according to a new report by ABI Research. Much of this growth will be thanks to Apple’s massive support for the HTML5 platform, according to the study. And Apple is also likely to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the technology’s wide scale adoption. Because Apple has so much control over its software and devices, it will be most poised to take full advantage of HTML features as they emerge in the coming years.

As is often the case in business, where there’s a winner, there’s usually a loser. HTML5 could largely replace Abobe’s proprietary Flash technology. And HTML5’s swift ascent could render Flash irrelevant in short order. “I think the disappearance of Flash is closer than people think,” ABI senior analyst Mark Beccue said in a press release accompanying the data.

HTML5’s projected growth is all the more impressive considering that the actual standard is not officially expected to be completed until 2020 2014, according to the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standards body. But that won’t stop companies and independent engineers from developing and deploying HTML5 features now, ABI said.

Indeed, Facebook CTO Bret Taylor has said his company is putting a “huge amount of our investment” in HTML5, and Google recently debuted its first homepage doodle composed entirely with the HTML5 mark-up language. It may seem like buzz about HTML5 is everywhere already, but if the latest research is correct, we’re only at the beginning.

Update: The W3C has targeted 2014 as the date it expects to achieve broad interoperability for the full HTML5 specification. The ABI Research report incorrectly noted that date as 2020.

Feature image courtesy of Flickr user EJ Callow.

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