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Flash coming to most smartphones, but not Apple's iPhone


Adobe on Monday announced partnerships with numerous handset operating system makers, including Research in Motion, Nokia, Palm, Google and Microsoft, to bring Flash Player 10.1 to smartphones. Absent from the list: Apple.

Flash 10.1 is expected to be available as a public beta for Google Android and Nokia's Symbian OS in early 2010. Developer betas of the browser-based runtime will be available for Windows Mobile and Palm webOS later this year. No date was given for BlackBerry devices.

Adobe said that the new mobile version of Flash offers accelerated video and graphics capabilities while conserving battery life. The new player offers streaming video in HD and browser-based Web applications.

"With Flash Player moving to new mobile platforms, users will be able to experience virtually all Flash technology based Web content and applications wherever they are," said David Wadhwani, general manager and vice president, Platform Business Unit at Adobe. "We are excited about the broad collaboration of close to 50 industry leaders in the Open Screen Project and the ongoing collaboration with 19 out of the top 20 handset manufacturers worldwide. It will be great to see first devices ship with full Flash Player in the first half of next year."

Of course, the elusive twentieth manufacturer missing from Adobe's lineup is Apple.

Though the iPhone is not included among the handsets, past reports have suggested that Adobe hopes to bring it to the platform. If that were to happen, though, Flash would have to overcome its various shortcomings on mobile devices as perceived by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

With Flash 10.1, Adobe aims to have cross-compatibility with PCs, smartphones, netbooks and a range of devices with various screen sizes. The effort is a part of the company's Open Screen Project initiative, which includes more than 50 companies.