There was some confusion about Adobe Flash and its availability for tablet PCs yesterday when Verizon’s pre-order page for the Motorola Xoom revealed that the device, out this Thursday, would not feature Flash support at launch. It would arrive instead in an update pegged in the fine print for “spring 2011.” Perhaps to stem off any loud “Hey, wait a minute…” comments before they started in earnest, Adobe took to its blog later in the day with an update.
“Adobe will offer Flash Player 10.2 pre-installed on some tablets and as an OTA download” — that’s “over-the-air” — “on others within a few weeks of Android 3 (Honeycomb) devices becoming available, the first of which is expected to be the Motorola Xoom.” The hold-up is, as you might have already guessed, Android 3.0 Honeycomb, Google’s tablet-oriented operating system update which will be available publicly for the first time on the Xoom. The blog post is really more of a reiteration of what we already knew, since just last week it was being reported via an Adobe rep at the Mobile World Congress that Flash 10.2 would be here “in the next few weeks.”
Also at the MWC Adobe touted the incredible rise it has seen in the adoption of Flash technology for mobile devices. More than 20 million smartphones with Flash Player 10.1 installed shipped in the six months since launch, spread across 35 certified devices. The company expects that there will be more than 135 million Flash-supporting mobile devices out in the world by the end of this year, including 50 different tablets. Apple users are hoping that the iPad comes to be one of them, perhaps the iPhone, as both devices have gone without Flash since launch, instead promoting the newer HTML5 platform and encouraging web content providers to make the switch.