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Apple feeling heat to lift ban on Adobe Flash, Melbourne analyst says


Apple will come under increasing pressure to reverse its Adobe Flash ban as support for the technology grows among other smartphone platforms, according to Ovum, a Melbourne-based telcom analysis and consulting firm.

According to new research by Ovum, Flash 10.1 support will grow across the smartphone market, leading to pressure from developers and users for Apple to support the technology on its iPad, iPhone and iPod touch devices.

Data from Ovum’s Smartphone Capability Analyzer Update 3Q10 shows that the first six devices that support Flash 10.1 arrived in the third quarter and the analyst expects this number to grow rapidly in the future.

The analyzer provides a quantitative view of smartphones and their capabilities, with the aim of highlighting the evolving capabilities of phones in the fast-moving smartphone market.

Android 2.2 was the first platform to support Flash 10.1. Blackberry, Windows Phone, Symbian, MeeGo and WebOS have all already announced they plan to support it in the future.

“With support for Flash 10.1 growing, users will become accustomed to a similar web browsing experience on both mobile and desktop devices,” Ovum analyst Nick Dillon said. “This will ultimately impact the attractiveness of Apple’s proposition.

“Flash certainly looks to be gaining ground with device vendors, and Apple may need to re-evaluate its position if its dominance is threatened as a result”.

Dillon added: “In addition to garnering support for Flash 10, Adobe has launched its own app distribution service for Flash and AIR applications. InMarket will help developers to sell their apps across various devices. This is clearly a big draw for developers and will threaten the dominance of platform vendors in the mobile apps market.”