Adobe and ARM Partner to Bring Flash to ARM-based Mobiles (Like the iPhone?)

Adobe and ARM have jointly announced that they are collaborating to optimize and enable Adobe Flash Player 10 and Adobe AIR for ARM Powered devices.

The collaboration is expected to accelerate mobile graphics and video capabilities on ARM platforms to bring rich Internet applications and Web services to mobile devices and consumer electronics worldwide.

This optimization is targeted at the existing ARM11 family (used in the iPhone) and will be available in the second half of 2009. Details are rather sparse, though the implication appears to be that this "optimization" will deliver Adobe Flash to existing mobile devices that are based on the latest ARM platforms.

PCMag further specifies that "devices with at least 200 MHz processors, more than around 16 Mbytes of RAM and a 'completely capable [Web] browser' will be able to render Web-based Flash content." Apple's iPhone, of course, fits into all these categories, which raises the question whether or not this could finally deliver Flash functionality to the current iPhone.

In March, Steve Jobs claimed that the iPhone was not capable of supporting the full version of Flash.

As Jobs put it Tuesday during the company's annual shareholder meeting, Apple's iPhone, with all its cutting-edge mobile Internet trickery, needs something much better than the current Flash player that Adobe makes for cellphones. The Flash Player option that fits the bill is made for devices like laptops that are larger than the iPhone; as a consequence, it performs too slowly on the iPhone, he said.

Still, in the end, it will be left to Apple to decide about allowing Flash onto the iPhone. At present, the iPhone SDK terms prevent Adobe from launching a fully integrated version of Flash for the iPhone on its own.

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