Bye Bye Flash Player? What does this mean for Mobile Media?

Flash will come out as 11.1 for mobile devices, and that's it.

Last week, Adobe announced that they were dropping development for Flash for mobile devices and TV. According to Adobe:

"Our future work with Flash on mobile devices will be focused on enabling Flash developers to package native apps with Adobe AIR for all the major app stores.  We will no longer continue to develop Flash Player in the browser to work with new mobile device configurations (chipset, browser, OS version, etc.) following the upcoming release of Flash Player 11.1 for Android and BlackBerry PlayBook."

Adobe dropped Flash support because of the overwhelming support for HTML5. While HTML5 is still in its early stages and not as advanced as Flash, it is supported on every mobile device (unlike Flash). Adobe has been working hard to get Flash on iOS, which will clearly never happen. I think it is entirely because of Apple's refusal to include Flash, that this has happened. Flash has never really been GOOD on mobile browsers, especially when it required keyboard entry etc. Video playback was always only decent at best as well.

HTML5 has replaced Flash in all meaningful ways.

This is a surprising step, but I think it is necessary for Adobe. Their Air applications enable a strong development platform. They also take advantage of the fact that Adobe Air is available for Android, iOS and BlackBerry's QNX operating systems. This allows Adobe to get stronger and reach more devices than with just Flash.

It is my believe that Adobe shouldn't have made this about the death of Flash for mobile - but rather the coming out party for Adobe Air. Flash for mobile devices never really went anywhere, but we can hope that Adobe Air will.

About Ryan Kamauff

Ryan Kamauff is a senior analyst with Crucial Point LLC. He produces technology focused content for and reports on analytical megatrends at the new analysis focused Analyst One.

Bob Gourley
Bob Gourley 5pts

Ryan I tend to agree: Adobe could have made this about the birth of a new era, vice the death of an old one. 


  1. Tech Review for November 2011 says:

    […] iOS 5, Android 4.0, the Asus Transformer Prime, the Kindle Fire, Fixmo’s Mobile Risk Management, Adobe’s decision to drop development of Flash for mobile devices, and competing mobile ecosystems.As always, this month we highlighted some disruptive technology in […]