SAN FRANCISCO Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O) released new software for its popular Flash Player on Sunday that promises to bring the quality of live video on cellular phones closer to that of video on computers.
Adobe, whose software made possible the rapid rise of pioneering online video site YouTube, said Nokia NOK1V.HE and NTT DoCoMo Inc (9437.T) would use its new Flash Lite 3 in their new cell phones.
Adobe said more than 300 million mobile devices equipped with previous versions of Flash had already been shipped and it expected more than a billion Flash-enabled devices to be available by 2010.
Adobe's Flash software is installed on about 98 percent of all personal computers and is used by virtually all popular online video sites, mainly thanks to the fact it works independently of the device that the video is displayed upon.
Gary Kovacs, in charge of marketing at Adobe's mobile unit, called Flash Lite 3 "the most significant advance we've made in mobile" and said it brought Adobe closer to being able to release software versions for mobile and desktop simultaneously.
"It's probably a few years away. We'll do it over the next couple to three years," he told Reuters.
Nokia's 3.4 million-strong mobile software development group, Forum Nokia, said it would launch a new development community on Monday to help Flash developers and designers.
Nokia, the world's biggest mobile telephone maker, announced a major new push into multimedia, including video, music and gaming last month, seeking to challenge Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) dominance in portable entertainment.
The head of Forum Nokia, Lee Epting, said in a statement: "Flash Lite 3 will enable us to deliver richer content to our customers, such as videos and animated ringtones."
Adobe, also known for its Acrobat document management and Photoshop software, said earlier this month that its profit more than doubled last quarter on strong sales of new products and as it makes inroads into mobile, video and office worker markets.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan and Eric Auchard)