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Research firm says social networking helped Adobe reach goals a year earlier than expected

Social networking is hugely popular and has driven many internet users to the sites as a way to keep in touch with friends and family. Sites like MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube are among the most popular of the social networking field. These sites also help drive the adoption of technologies that make accessing then on mobile devices possible as well.

Research firm Strategy Analytics says that MySpace and YouTube are helping to drive the significant growth of Adobe's Flash Lite technology. EWeek reports that the research firm said in a news release, "The popularity of social networking sites like YouTube and MySpace is driving the success of Adobe's Flash Lite technology on mobile handsets."

Flash Lite Version 3.0 allows mobile users to access the sites on a number of mobile handsets. According to the firm the total number of Flash Lite enabled handsets hit 960 million by the end of 2008. Strategy Analytics says that by the end of 2009 the number of Flash Lite handsets is expected to hit 1 billion.

Adobe reports that it expected to reach 1 billion capable devices by 2010, a full year later than analysts expect the figure to be reached. Anup Murarka told eWeek that Adobe expects to have an additional 1.5 billion Flash Lite-enabled devices on the market in the next two years. The adoption of Flash Lite by handset makers is expected to grow despite the poor economy. Shipments of enabled handsets are currently 40 million per month.

Strategy Analytics' Stuart Robinson said, "Version 3 and subsequent versions are setting the standard for high-performance Flash Lite applications, although there is continuing high demand for Flash Lite v2.0 and 2.1 in Asia."

Adobe announced some new technology at Mobile World Congress 2009 including a new Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player described as a new over-the-air runtime. The player is available now as a beta for the Nokia S60 and Windows Mobile platforms.

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RE: Field of Dreams
By ltcommanderdata on 2/19/2009 11:18:01 AM , Rating: 1
Actually the iPhone has such clout that Youtube agreed transitioned their entire catalogue to h.264 so that Flash isn't required. Similarly, Facebook, MySpace, and other major websites have developed iPhone apps and/or redesigned versions of their website using standards like AJAX and Javascript instead of Flash to offer an optimized experience on the iPhone.

Microsoft just promoted at the Mobile World Congress that they have sold 50 million Windows Mobile phones since 2003. Comparatively, in 6 quarters to the quarter ending September 2008, more than 13 million iPhones have been sold not including the iPod Touch. An additional 4 million iPhones were sold in the quarter from October 2008 to December 2008. Not including iPod Touch, that's 17 million iPhones in less than 2 years to Microsoft's 50 million in 6 years. Apple and Adobe may not agree on Flash, but realistically as it stands, Apple has the momentum to push for Flash-agnostic websites which may not be a bad thing.

RE: Field of Dreams
By Master Kenobi on 2/19/2009 11:20:25 AM , Rating: 5
I would be in favor of Silverlight sites. Silverlight is considerably better and less clumsy than Flash.

RE: Field of Dreams
By bighairycamel on 2/19/2009 11:32:57 AM , Rating: 2
Totally. I didn't discover it until the streaming olympics coverage and I gotta say, it was much quicker to buffer and yet had better quality than flash.

To ltcommanderdata: do the math... if they keep the same momentum in 6 years they will still have less iPhones out there than Windows Mobile devices. Regardless, in social circles on my end of the country, the iPhone is losing a lot of its luster. The original hype has slowly been dieing, and in this economy a $400 phone isn't a very attractive buy (if that's how much they still cost, I don't know nor do I really care, they're still a ripoff on a ripoff stick).

RE: Field of Dreams
By ltcommanderdata on 2/19/2009 12:08:01 PM , Rating: 2
Well the math is that 17 million in 7 quarters translates into 2.4 million phones on average every quarter. In 6 years or 24 quarters that's more than 58 million which is greater than 50 million. And again that is not including iPod Touch which is the same platform.

The iPhone is currently $199, although it's really not the cost of the phone that's the killer it's the contract. It is true that it'll be difficult to sustain this momentum over the long-term, especially with this economy. Apple seems to realize this since in recent interviews they've said they are re-evaluating their pricing structure. I'm hoping the increased competition from phones like the Pre will encourage Apple to further improve the iPhone. Copy and paste functionality perhaps?

RE: Field of Dreams
By rdeegvainl on 2/19/2009 2:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
Are you assuming that people will still be using their current iphones in 6 years? How many of those iphones are bought to replace the old iphone?

RE: Field of Dreams
By ltcommanderdata on 2/19/2009 4:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
I guess the same can be said for Windows Mobile users. Microsoft reported that 50 million Windows Mobile phones have been sold since 2003. Obviously many will be replacement phones so the actual current user base isn't that big.

RE: Field of Dreams
By bighairycamel on 2/19/2009 5:00:23 PM , Rating: 2
Haha, I know it looks like my math sucks, but for some reason I read your post as 60 million.

RE: Field of Dreams
By omnicronx on 2/19/2009 1:09:23 PM , Rating: 2
Apple and Adobe may not agree on Flash, but realistically as it stands, Apple has the momentum to push for Flash-agnostic websites which may not be a bad thing.
Apple is still less than 1/3 of the market, WinMo phones combined sold 5 million phones last quarter, and Nokia was not far behind in total sales. Yes the iPhone is the best selling phone, but it does not have the best selling mobile OS. As much as I don't like flash, it is not going anywhere, Apple will eventually have to fold whether they like it or not, or other phones will surpass them very quickly in terms of mobile browsing capabilities.

RE: Field of Dreams
By ltcommanderdata on 2/19/2009 4:14:49 PM , Rating: 2
I don't doubt that the iPhone is still in the minority of total smartphone user-base or even smartphone sales. But referring to momentum, you say all WinMo phone sales combined last quarter only totaled 5 million sales. Apple's single iPhone 3G had 4.4 million sales in the last quarter. 6.9 million units were sold in the quarter previous to that. Something has to be said when 1 single phone can compete with the combined sales of all WinMo phones.

And I agree that in the end Apple will probably have to let Flash in to be competitive. They are probably trying to hold out as long as possible to pressure Adobe to create a well optimized version instead of some quick beta or 1.0 type product that they let languish.

RE: Field of Dreams
By OCedHrt on 2/19/2009 7:57:40 PM , Rating: 2
That is interesting. Your numbers indicate that Apple's iPhone is NOT doing so well.

In 1.75 years, Apple sold 17 million iPhones. Extrapolating that data gives us about 58 million vs Microsoft's 50 million. That means, Apple is doing slightly more than 15% better than Microsoft. When you consider Apple's closed market approach, rate of sales can only decrease over time as those who will not buy an iPhone will never buy one, and those who will already have. So in reality, it's a mixed bag and Apple is definitely not doing better than Microsoft.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997

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