Mergers & Acquisitions

Mergers & Acquisitions

October 03, 2011

Adobe Acquires PhoneGap Maker Nitobi

Adobe (News - Alert) reaffirmed its embracement of HTML5 on Monday by acquiring Nitobi, maker of a popular mobile app frameworking tool known as PhoneGap.

Downloaded more than 600,000 times, PhoneGap is an open-source programming tool that enables developers to build cross-platform mobile apps with HTML5 and JavaScript.

With the Nitobi acquisition, Adobe can now offer programmers another distinct solution for developing native mobile apps that rely on the latest Web standards. PhoneGap will help supplement Adobe Air, which utilizes the company's flagship Flash offering – a technology that is waning due to recent developer enthusiasm for standards like HTML5.

Nitobi claims that PhoneGap has been used to build thousands of today's most popular Android (News - Alert), iOS and Blackberry mobile apps.

"It’s a perfect complement to Adobe’s broad family of developer solutions, including Adobe AIR, and will allow us to continue to provide content publishers and developers with the best, cutting-edge solutions for creating innovative applications across platforms and devices," Danny Winokur, vice president and general manager, Platform, Adobe, noted in a statement.

While the acquisition was a surprise, the targeting of an HTML5-based platform was not. Adobe took a substantial hit last year when Apple (News - Alert) – and later Microsoft – chose HTML5 over Flash for its mobile devices, claiming the latter is unstable and uses too much capacity.

Adobe has since publically embraced HTML5 as a large part of its future and adapted its product line accordingly. In fact, Chief Executive Officer Shantanu Narayen (News - Alert) recently told a group of analysts on a conference call that HTML5 programs may soon make their way into the company's hallmark Creative Suite.

“With the shifting landscape that favors HTML5-based content and application delivery, we are doubling down in our investment in this area,” Narayen said last month during an earnings call.

Terms of the Nitobi acquisition were not released. The deal is expected to close by the end of the month.

Adobe shares have been on the rise since the software maker issued a better-than-expected forecast for the fourth quarter.

Beecher Tuttle is a TMCnet contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves


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