I had a call today with Adobe to talk about their mobile announcements and get a little clarification about what Flash Lite 3 is going to be. I had to wake up at the ridiculous time of 8:00 in the morning, but it was worth it ;). I posted yesterday but had some gaps in my understanding. Today, Adobe updated their mobile portal and during the call gave me a bit more info on where they're going.
The numbers look good. There are 200 million flash enabled devices in the world, and that number has been doubling in number every year. This year alone there were 112 million flash enabled devices sold. More importantly in my mind, is that for the first time ever, the number of phones sold outside Japan was bigger than the number sold in Japan. We still have a long way to go, but it seems like a richer mobile experience is gaining traction outside Japan. That's key for developers wanting to use the Platform. Alessandro has been doing a great job of covering this.
Adobe also had some good news aroudn their content distribution channel, Flash Cast. They signed up Telenor in Norway to leverage Flash Cast. They also signed Viacom up to deliver content to Flash Cast devices. So now we can get things like Comedy Central, MTV and CMT (who said that?) - brands that are important and can drive subscribers. In addition, Adobe is touting the Flash Home which gives developers the ability to deliver content by hooking into the home screen. Samir has a roundup of what this means. As the site says, you can use the home screen as a landing page for new content or new brand campaigns. It looks like an interesting idea for developers.
Flash Lite 3
I covered the basics of Flash Lite 3 yesterday, but got some new information that might be helpful. The release to OEMs is planned for sometime in Q2 and Adobe hopes to see those devices in consumers hands by the end of the year. I asked about the development environment for Flash Lite 3, thinking it would be good to get some information on whether or not it will be coded in Action Script 3. They didn't give me an answer on that, but I think it sounds promising. They emphasized that their current announcement is about the video capabilities. On the Flash Media Server piece, I asked if people using FMS would have to have special software or extensions for mobile devices. The answer seemed to be no, that the phones could connect to any Flash Media Server and get content. The only real restriction is the computing power of the device. I think that bodes well for hooking Flash Lite into the wider Flash ecosystem.