Adobe to cease developing mobile Flash plugin for Android and PlayBook, says ZDNet

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Adobe is making some big changes today, having issued an "intra-quarter update" that includes significant restructuring as the company attempts to refocus itself on "Digital Media and Digital Marketing." Part of the restructuring also apparently includes no longer updating its Flash plugin for mobile devices, which right now primarily is used on Android and RIM's PlayBook platform. In a statement given to ZDNet, Adobe instead said that it would focus on Adobe AIR apps instead:

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 adapt Flash Player for mobile devices to new browser, OS version or device configurations. Some of our source code licensees may opt to continue working on and releasing their own implementations. We will continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.

Google, BlackBerry, and even HP with its webOS platform have all at one point or another touted the Flash plugin as key to the ability to access the "full web," but of course iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad have never supported it. More recently, both RIM and Google have dedicated more attention to HTML5 than to Flash on their platforms.

Adobe may have hinted at this move earlier today in a statement detailing its new direction, noting that it would be "shifting resources to support even greater investment in HTML5," and "focusing Flash resources on delivering the most advanced PC web experiences, including gaming and premium video, as well as mobile apps." The mobile Flash plugin was notably absent from the list of Adobe's future directions. As a part of the restructuring, Adobe also announced that it will be laying off approximately 750 full-time employees in North America and Europe, though we have no word about which specific divisions will be hit.

This certainly looks like a sign that Apple has won the battle over whether Flash belongs on mobile devices, as Adobe appears to be transitioning itself to an HTML5 future.

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