By 2013, sales of new smartphones using the HTML5 standard in the phone’s browser will total 1 billion, up from 336 million this year. The recent decision by Adobe Inc. (NASDAQ: ADBE) to stop development of Flash for mobile devices means that companies like Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) will need to move to another standard to deliver streaming and other rich media services. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) has never supported Flash on its iPhones or iPads.
The research firm also notes:
HTML5 has quickly become a high-growth technology that will help smartphones, feature phones, tablets, notebooks, desktop PCs, televisions and vehicles to converge in the future. HTML5 will be a pivotal technology in the growth of a multi-screen, 4G LTE cloud that is emerging for mobile operators, device makers, car manufacturers, component vendors and Web app developers. With its potential to transcend some of the barriers faced by native apps, such as cross-platform usability, HTML5 is a market that no mobile stakeholder can afford to ignore.
While that may ultimately be true, consumers expecting a smooth transition are likely to be disappointed. Converting from native apps designed to run on a single operating system and device to an app to run across many operating systems and devices is non-trivial and non-cheap. Strategy Analytics may be right about how many devices will ship with browsers that can handle HTML5, but replacing native apps is very likely further out than 2013.