Troy Evans, Senior Product Manager of Mobile & Devices at Macromedia, wrote this interesting explanation of Macromedia's difficulties getting the Flash player out onto mobiles. I had been wondering whether delays (it's been 5 years since Flash was ported to Symbian iirc) were down to heavy pre-existing investments in Java from operators, or difficulty getting handset vendors to accept new licensing terms for Flash, he responded with:
"...the player technology and distribution model is different from that of Flash Player on the desktop. Today, each mobile phone manufacturer must customize and integrate Flash Lite into the phone's OS and also define integration points (screensavers, ringtones, wallpapers, browser plugin, etc) at the time of manufacturing because new applications cannot be installed after.
This is due to the fact that 95% of the mobile phones in the market place today are proprietary (closed operating system), and cannot be updated.
As more smart phones (Symbian, Palm, Smartphone, BREW), enter the market, we expect the player distribution model to evolve. Because these are OPEN operating systems and new applications can be installed on the phone. Just like the News Express application in UK, Germany and Austria."