Apple may not see a need to add support for Adobe Systems' Flash multimedia software to a smartphone, but other handset makers do and plan to release software updates soon.
Palm and Motorola are among the vendors betting users want access to a broader range of web content from their phones. Both companies plan to add Flash support to their smartphones soon, executives said at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
Adobe announced Flash 10.1 last year, saying handsets from 19 vendors would ship with the software starting in mid-2010. Among the handset makers that backed Adobe was Motorola, which promised to put Flash 10.1 on an Android handset in early 2010.
Sanjay Jha, the CEO of Motorola's handset business, recently unveiled the company's Backflip Android handset. At the same time, he announced the company was readying a software update that will include Flash 10.1 support. He did not say when that update, which has been in the works for more than a year, will be delivered to users.
Earlier this week, Adobe said it was working with Google to bring Flash 10.1 to the new Android Nexus One phone, made by HTC, as well. Palm is also ready to bring Flash support to its smartphone lineup.
Flash 10.1 support for Palm's WebOS operating system is ready and will be delivered in an upcoming plugin that users will be able to download and install on their phones, said Paul Cousineau, director of product marketing at Palm.
To illustrate how users can benefit from having access to Flash content on the web, Cousineau used a Pre handset to play a Flash movie trailer for the movie Avatar. While Palm didn't give a date for when Flash support would be available, the company said users will be able to download the plugin "soon."
In addition to WebOS and Android handsets, Flash 10.1 support is also coming for BlackBerry devices and handsets running Windows Mobile.
While the iPhone won't support Flash 10.1, Adobe's upcoming Flash Professional CS5 will allow developers to compile content in a format supported by the iPhone.