updated 10:40 am EST, Mon February 16, 2009
Palm to Get Adobe Flash
Palm today took advantage of Mobile World Congress to reveal that it has joined Adobe's Open Screen Project with plans to bring an advanced mobile version of Flash to the browser in the Palm Pre's webOS. No details have been revealed about how it will work, though the feature contrasts against previous smartphones, which have often been limited to running Flash Lite separate from the web and with fewer features.
The release date is also unclear, though both Adobe and Palm reiterate claims that Flash will be available on multiple smartphone platforms in the second half of this year.
Palm's deal is a possible blow to Apple, which is reportedly working with Adobe on a Flash port for the iPhone but hasn't published any details of its progress. Apple chief Steve Jobs has argued that a balance is necessary between the low demand but limited Flash Lite and the full but resource-heavy desktop Flash. Adobe has said it will specifically optimize Flash for ARM chips used in most smartphones, which includes the iPhone.
Separately, Palm has unintentionally acknowledged the existence of a GSM version of the Pre with demos to PreCommunity and others attending the event. Details are unknown, though most expect the Pre to include HSPA-based 3G with the network switch and initial signs point to Vodafone as a likely carrier. The company itself has previously acknowledged that it plans to offer GSM Pre units in the second half of 2009.