Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

Summary: Apple and Adobe--long time partners that propel product cycles for each other--are in a big spat over the iPhone.The problem: Apple's iPhone doesn't support Flash Player.


Apple and Adobe--long time partners that propel product cycles for each other--are in a big spat over the iPhone.

The problem: Apple's iPhone doesn't support Flash Player. And Adobe is getting more annoyed by the minute, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as an aside I read this story with "It's a Small World" playing in my head. Why? Ben Charny, a former reporter of mine at eWeek and colleague at, quotes ZDNet's own Ryan Stewart. Good times eh?

But I digress. Charny paints the Adobe-Apple spat as evidence that Steve Jobs & Co. often scares partners. I'm not sure I buy that beyond the iPhone.

As Charny notes this spat could be resolved by the end of the month. I'd be shocked if Apple and Adobe didn't work this Flash spat out. After all, Adobe's CS3 drives Mac sales and vice versa. These two have a long history that's unlikely to be derailed over the iPhone.

Topics: iPhone, Apple, Banking, Enterprise Software, Mobility

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  • spat

    blah blah blah, how many times can you say "spat" in one two paragraph article?? spat


  • Flash DEAD to Apple

    I'd be stunned if Apple allowed Flash on the iPhone:
    a) Adobe annoys Apple*
    b) Flash is potentially great, Flash is unfortunately 90% ads.
    c) Flash is proprietary.
    d) Apple prefers H.264 (see YouTube upgrade).

    Anything is possible but Flash on Iphone is just Adobe dreaming ...

    *Adobe also annoys MS ... not sure why Adobe picks a fight with Apple & MS ...
  • RE: Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

    Steve's in no hurry to promote a competing & proprietry
    format; especially when Adobe screwed Apple back in 97
    by refusing to port their popular video editing program to the
    Mac. I wouldn't expect any handouts from Apple anytime soon
    & rightly so.
  • RE: Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

    Problems with stability of the internet experience will arise from some badly written flash apps.

    Apple would face huge disappointment especially in the US with the slow AT&T network.
    • RE: Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

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  • It's a strategic decision

    Now that Mobile Safari is used [i]fifty[/i] times more often than any other mobile
    browser, every high-profile website in the world has to wonder if they [i]really[/i]
    should continue to rely on Flash for their content, especially if they could get the
    same functionality using only web-standards instead.

    Just what Apple wants.
    Jens T.
  • RE: Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

    adobe is trying to position flash as a mobile phone platform. why
    would apple cut its nose off to spite its face? flash and java
    should be part of the iphone. that way you get the full
    experience. the user should be able to choose to turn them off,
    but they should not be excluded.
    • I completely agree... also flash does more than video!

      There is a huge amount of flash-based video content on the net - this is true, but almost more important than that are the HUGE number of websites (commercial, entertainment and more) that have their ENTIRE user interface done in flash and thus are currently unusable when accessed via the iPhone. Include the capability to disable them if desired (both java and flash) but definitely include them. Am I the only iPhone owner irritated as much as I am over this fundemental feature?
  • RE: Adobe vs. Apple: Flash spat over iPhone gets intense

    adobe is really at a disadvantage here. They don't build the
    operating platforms, just the content delivery ones. Apple
    doesn't have to do anything for them in this situation simply
    because adobe is nothing without the operating platforms the
    push their bloated software on.

    However, I would wait and see how robust the iPhone sdk
    turns out to be. If it allows the development of alternate
    browsers the problem could be solved, but not without the
    caveats already mentioned
  • Apple's Two Views

    Apple remembers well the 90's - who supported them and who didn't. Apple is also
    committed to simplicity and style.

    I bet Jobs is still irked by Adobe's initial lack of faith in his ability to turn Apple
    around, how they gouged him on screen postscript (forcing OSX to use PDF
    instead), how they pushed back on Apple's OS initiatives and dragged their heels on
    Mac optimized versions of their design applications. There also appears to have
    been a rift between the Flash and Quicktime teams where, as of around Flash 5, the
    two no longer played well together, which is unfortunate.

    Now Apple stands triumphant, and I wonder if Jobs doesn't enjoy putting the
    screws to Adobe a little now.

    As for flash compatibility, I'm sure Jobs looks at most of the tacky marketing
    animations that seem to pollute every page and he'd like to eliminate it from the
    iPhone experience. But there's a great deal of functionality in some flash sites and
    widgets, so I'm sure it will get done.

    And in the end, they both realize that Microsoft is angling for their business on
    every front, so their ability to do the deal (and seek out further alliances) is in their
    best mutual interest.
  • Flash in the pan

    Everyone is moving to a non-proprietary standard,
    H.264, which scales.

    Apple sees the bigger picture and Flash doesn't fit in it.
    Apple's devices are meant to provide the best experience
    for the user. H.264 provides that experience, Flash
    • Flash experience is worth it

      You minimize how much Flash has integrated itself into the Internet. It is no longer used for just animations. It is now being used to build applications that not only work in a browser, but work on their own (AIR). Mobile Flash will drive these applications to continue to be built.

      Apple has to accept the fact that Flash has to run on the iPhone or they will find many unhappy clients who cannot run their favorite Internet-based applications on their phone.
      Paul C.
      • Flash is not just videos and ads

        Exactly. I would love for my child to be able to use my iPod Touch to play her Disney and other website / educational games. But it needs Flash to do that.
    • H.264 isn't a replacement for Flash

      H.264 is just a video format. Flash is a lot more than just video - it's also vector based animation and interactivity - which H.264 can't provide.

      It may replace the video component of Flash, but there's no way it can replace Flash as a whole.
      • Webkit supports SVG

        Vector graphics are covered in WebKit with a standards-based solution.
        • He wasn't talking about Webkit (nt)

          nt = no text
    • BZZT!

      Adobe Flash does support H264.
  • Adobe Doesn't Deliver

    Adobe still hasn't delivered Shockwave updates for Intel
    based Macs. This requires browsers to be opened using
    Rosetta. Why should Steve get sucked into using or
    supporting Flash when Adobe has a history of not

    If Adobe get relegated to the back bench it will be their
    fault not Apples.
  • Adobe has 'gone PC' a long time ago.

    Adobe has practically abandoned Apple and Mac users a
    long time ago. It's true they really DON'T DELIVER.
    Apple's graphic apps are BETTER than Adobe's now.

    Why should Apple cater to Adobe when they can't even
    BOTHER to release their software on the Mac in a timely
    • Apple is most likely going to go for

      Silverlight. It's growing quickly among many media corporations and if nothing else, Apple is good at picking and using other's superior technologies. <br><br>
      But to your statement, it's a practical matter. Adobe is all over the web and the itouch i bought my wife is quite limiting in what it can do. w/o flash way too many websites are simply not part of the web on the itouch. And the way MSN and Yahoo are treated is just in very very poor taste. But they made a deal with google, so there you have it. very limited functionality with Google as the only real web tool it has that works well. That is from experience and much frustration. Why would MSN be treated as such by apple? it's only the next step down from being blocked, as with yahoo. <br><br>
      As a user of the device, i find it very very limited and hard to use for much real entertainment or work. It sits somewhere in between as something that can work in a pinch for a small amount of entertainment or work, as far the web is concerned.