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HTML5 will Transform Multimedia on Mobile Devices

According to the the latest market study by ABI Research, more than 2.1 billion mobile devices (such as smartphones and media tablets) will have HTML5 browsers by 2016 -- that's up up from just 109 million in 2010.

While the official position from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is that the HTML5 mark-up language standard will not be complete until 2020, ABI believes that 25 HTML5 features currently in development will become widely used at varying intervals within the next three to five years.

"We expect HTML5 features in categories such as graphics, multimedia, user interactions, data storage, and others to be widely adopted sooner rather than later. A significant number of HTML5 features will be adopted in the mass market in the next three to five years," says Mark Beccue, senior analyst at ABI.

HTML5 adoption is going to accelerate because it will be a key differentiator in the smartphone operating system competitive race to world dominance. Moreover, Apple will likely be a key driver of HTML5 and consequently a primary benefactor as well.

According to ABI's assessment, Apple's competitive edge stems from vision and its lack of fragmentation.

"The key to HTML5 growth is browser capabilities. Apple will quickly develop HTML5 features capabilities for their browsers and be able to easily push those updates out to their devices," Beccue says.

In contrast, Android doesn't have the capabilities to move so quickly. Blackberry has market share, but their installed base of phones with HTML5 capable browsers are somewhat limited.

One important HTML5 feature, online video streaming, is making a play to challenge the popular Adobe Flash Player plugin software. The feature would allow video to stream without the necessity of activating a plugin. While industry discussions of Flash’s disappearance generally conclude that Flash will not be phased out any time soon, ABI's Beccue thinks differently.

"I think the disappearance of Flash is closer than people think," he said.

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