Social networks driving Flash Lite usage

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Social networks driving Flash Lite usage

The continuing popularity of social networking sites is driving the success of Adobe Flash Lite technology on mobile handsets, according to Strategy Analytics.

The firm's new Flash-Enabled Handset Forecast report said the total number of Flash Lite-enabled handsets reached more than 960 million by the end of 2008, and predicted that the number would continue to rise this year, despite the current economic climate.

A key driver is the new iteration of the software, Flash Lite Version 3.0, which enables users to access sites such as Facebook and YouTube, and has helped boost shipments to more than 40 million units a month, said the report.

"Version 3 and subsequent versions are setting the standard for high-performance Flash Lite applications, although there is continuing high demand for Flash Lite v2.0 and 2.1 in Asia," explained Stuart Robinson, director of the handset component technologies practice at Strategy Analytics.

Flash Lite was originally created as a lightweight version of the Flash Media Player designed for mobile handsets and portable devices.

Although Adobe is predicting a billion Flash-enabled devices by the end of the quarter, it could eventually be supplanted by a new fully-fledged version of Flash for smartphones.

Flash 10 for Smartphones, which was unveiled at Mobile World Congress this week, is currently compatible with Google's Android, Microsoft's Windows Mobile and Nokia's Symbian S60 platforms, and is due for release next year, according to Adobe.

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