Adobe’s Flash 10.1 for mobile: a solid 2010; 600% growth predicted in 2011

At Mobile World Congress on Monday, BGR sat down with Adobe to review how its Flash platform did in the mobile space in 2010 and what the company is looking for this year, in 2011. The results pretty much speak for themselves and, regardless of what some OEMs say, the platform is popular, plentiful, and here to stay. Hit the jump to hear the informal State of Flash address.

The State of the Union always starts off on a high note, so why would the State of Flash (note: we’re calling it that, not Adobe) be any different? The company let us know that in 2010, the Flash 10.1 platform — which had only been available for 6 months — was downloaded over 20 million times. The platform is pre-installed at the factory on 12% of all smartphones shipping globally and on 60% of all smartphones capable of running the software. Of those 20 million Flash 10.1 downloads, over 6 million have been from the Android Market — where the company noted they have a 4.5 out of 5 rating from over 50,000 users. The half-year figures are pretty staggering.

So where does Adobe see these numbers going in 2011? Hint: north. Adobe is projecting 132 million smartphone installations this year (600% growth year-over-year) with 36% of all smartphones (globally) shipping with the software. Shifting gears to tablets — a trend that is certainly not to be ignored in 2011 — Adobe is predicting that over fifty tablets will ship with, or be able to download, its Flash software. Those are pretty impressive figures.

After giving Adobe kudos for its successful year, we pressed them on some of the perceived weaknesses in the platform. Namely: battery life. Adobe acknowledged that there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to battery optimization on smartphones and noted that its next iteration of Flash — Flash 10.2 (currently in beta) — is GPU optimized and can reduce CPU load from 85% down to 15%. Adobe has actually commissioned a report to analyze the difference in power consumption between watching a video or playing a game in Flash versus in a native application or native game. The results of the report are due out in the next few months, but Adobe seems confident that the findings will support the assertion that the processor and battery loads are similar.

That’s the meat and potatoes from our sit-down with the the Big Red A, but we want to hear from you. How many of you with Flash capable smartphones have the software installed and what are your thoughts?

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