Adobe yanks Flash Smart TV strategy but RIM won’t let go

Nov 10, 2011
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Adobe yanks Flash Smart TV strategy but RIM won’t let go

Adobe isn't just axing Flash Player for Mobile, but refocusing its approach toward smart TV as well, pushing native apps rather than Flash compatibility. Although the company will continue to support existing licensees of its Open Screen Project, an Adobe spokesperson told GigaOM, it now believes "the right approach to deliver content on televisions is through applications, not a web browsing experience." Meanwhile, RIM has confirmed that it will independently develop Flash for the BlackBerry PlayBook, telling AllThingsD that it has licensed Adobe's source code.

Of course, just because it doesn't believe Flash is best for connected TVs, doesn't mean the company is leaving the segment entirely to rivals. Instead, it will push Adobe AIR apps as part of its recently announced smart TV port, with developers already using the technology to create software for Samsung sets. AIR apps can also be used on mobile devices and on the desktop, but are standalone code rather than living in the browser.

RIM's challenge, meanwhile, is to live up to its heavy Flash focused advertising for the PlayBook, with support for the standard being a key part of the Canadian company's value proposition versus the iPad and Android slates. The plan is to take up independent development of Flash for the PlayBook, though RIM will also look to HTML5 for future BBX phones and tablets.

"As an Adobe source code licensee, we will continue to work on and release our own implementations. RIM remains committed to delivering an uncompromised Web browsing experience to our customers, including native support for Adobe Flash Player on our BlackBerry PlayBook tablet (similar to a desktop PC browser), as well as HTML5 support on both our BlackBerry smartphone and PlayBook browsers" RIM statement

Adobe has been criticized for its Flash mobile decision - and the length of time it took the company to settle on a strategy - by former Flash Lite and Flash Mobile lead Calos Icaza.

RIM PlayBook Flash advert:


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