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10/24/2006
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Verizon First U.S. Carrier To Offer Flash Apps

Flash applications run on Verizon phones sold through the company's "Get It Now" distribution network. Customers can purchase applications and automatically Flash-enable their phones.

GREAT NECK, N.Y. — Verizon Wireless has become the first North American wireless carrier to make available Adobe System Inc.'s Flash Lite technology for mobile applications, the companies said Wednesday (Oct. 25).

Flash Lite for Qualcomm Inc.'s Brew runtime environment enables Flash applications to run on Verizon phones through the company's "Get it Now" distribution network. Version customers can purchase applications and automatically "Flash-enable" their phones, according to the companies.

According to Anup Murarka, Adobe's director of technical marketing for mobile and devices, the availability of Flash Lite for Verizon wireless phones should spur the application developer community to create a host of new technologies that take advantage of dynamic Flash capability.

"Every operator in the world that utilizes the Qualcomm Brew distribution system is now capable of taking advantage of Flash," Murarka said. "You are really going to see an explosion in terms of the width and breadth of content available."

While Verizon is the first major North American carrier to deploy Flash Lite, the agreement is not exclusive, according to Murarka, who said Adobe expects other North American wireless carrier to follow suit. Flash Lite has already been deployed on wireless handsets in Japan for more than three hears, Murarka said, and in South Korea for the past year.

"Initially, you'll see the [applications] that are easy for developers to envision," Murarka said. "But ultimately they are going to do amazing things as a developer community that we cannot even envision. That's one of the great things about creating tools for a large a developer community."

An undisclosed number of Flash Lite applications are available to Verizon subscribers immediately, according to the companies. Customers will not necessarily even need a new phones — users of several Verizon handsets, including the V (LG VX9800) and Samsung SCH-a950, already have Flash capability within their phones, according to the companies, which expect Flash Lite to be available on additional handsets in the coming weeks.

Verizon customers can purchase engaging Flash Lite for Brew content and applications directly on their phones in Verizon Wireless' Get It Now virtual store, Verizon said.

Last October, Macromedia Inc.—subsequently acquired by Adobe— agreed to create a version of its mobile Flash player as an extension to Brew.

Adobe (San Jose, Calif.) also said Wednesday that a preview release of the Flash Lite 2.1 Update to Flash Professional 8 is available for free download on Adobe Labs. enabling developers to create, preview and test Flash Lite content and applications directly in the Flash Professional 8 environment.

Mobile developers interested in creating applications and content for Verizon Wireless phones can visit http://www.adobe.com/devnet/devices/verizon.html for more information, Verizon said.

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