Adobe: smartphone Flash player battle officially lost

Summary:Adobe admitted last week its flash player won't be dominant on smartphones, the fastest growing computer segment. In fact, you can watch YouTube on your iPhone today. So, Adobe, shut up already!

Adobe admitted last week its Flash player won't be dominant on smartphones, the fastest growing computer segment. In fact, you can watch YouTube on your iPhone today. So, Adobe, shut up already!

Flash doesn't run on 98% of all computers An Adobe director of technology strategy told Reuters last week:

. . . Adobe said it expects its Flash software to be supported in 53 per cent of the more than 300 million smartphones expected to ship in 2012.

Tech isn't a democracy 53% is a majority, right? Flash player wins!

Wrong. 53% means Adobe loses - especially since that 53% is 2 years away. It might never happen. But even if it does, no one will care.

Why? Because the driving force behind this is advertising. You want to watch streaming video on your smartphone. The streamers - like YouTube - want to sell advertising to pay for it.

Advertisers want to reach affluent, early-adopters - like smartphone users - while they are on the go. And since Flash player won't be on half of all mobile devices - even in 2 years - Flash will not be their delivery platform of choice.

But what about YouTube?

Watch YouTube on your iPhone TODAY! It's easy. Go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and click on the html5 beta link at the bottom of the page. You'll be watching tracks from Bonnaroo in minutes.

How cool is that? With, sadly, no ads - yet.

The Storage Bits take Flash player has had a good run, but it's over. Adobe needs to go back to its roots as a graphics tool-maker and give up dreams of global video delivery domination.

Ain't gonna happen, guys. [See Adobe Flash: all over but the shouting for more.]

What you can do is focus on building a solid flash player for PCs and notebooks and stop PO'ing users. It is a strategic retreat, but it will earn you the good will of millions of users that you are now frittering away.

And save you hundreds of millions of dollars fighting a battle you've already lost. Shareholders will thank you for that.

Courteous comments welcome, of course. Yes, this reminds me of Toshiba's losing battle against Blu-ray.

Topics: Mobility, Enterprise Software, Hardware, Smartphones

About

Harris has been working with computers for over 35 years and selling and marketing data storage for over 30 in companies large and small. He introduced a couple of multi-billion dollar storage products (DLT, the first Fibre Channel array) to market, as well as a many smaller ones. Earlier he spent 10 years marketing servers and networks.... Full Bio

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