Adobe: Apple's anti-Flash moves won't impact Creative Suite; HTML 5 not ready yet

Adobe execs said that Apple's move to cut off Flash development for the iPhone and iPad won't impact the company's Creative Suite sales. And HTML 5 isn't ready for prime time.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Adobe's Mark Garrett, chief financial officer at the company, said Monday that Apple's move to cut off Flash development for the iPhone and iPad won't impact the company materially.

Much of Garrett's talk at the JMP Securities conference revolved around sales of the Creative Suite 5 (CS5). After all, CS 5 is where the money will be. However, there were a few questions about how the Apple Flash flap, will affect Adobe, which has bet on every mobile platform not named iPhone---Android and BlackBerry primarily.

The comments were the latest in a rhetoric war between Apple and Adobe.

According to a transcript of the talk, Garrett, along with investor relations vice president Mike Saviage, addressed the Apple Flash issue in a few areas.

Garrett was asked about whether Apple's Flash move would impact CS 5. After all, Adobe did mention Apple's anti-Flash message as a risk to business. He said:

The question is around the 6 million creative professionals and how they kind of weigh their decision to use our tools, given what is going on with Apple. The short answer, and then I will let Mike add on, is that they are still going to use our tools even though they're creating content for Apple. So, basically to create -- those 6 million creative professionals, they are also going to still use our tools. We don't think there is going to be an impact to our creative suite tools as a result of this change from Apple. What it basically means though is they have two workflows now, one to create content for the Apple devices and one to create content for everything else. I think that is a little bit of the misconception out there -- is that people will not use our creative tools for Apple devices. But the truth is they will; they're just going to have two workflows.

Saviage said:

Just building on that, it goes back to the workflow. People live everyday in products like Photoshop and Illustrator and InDesign. We're the leading provider of HTML authoring tools in the world for professionals with Dreamweaver. Almost all of the HTML content that you interact with when you go to a website and open up a website with a browser is created or touched with Adobe technology. Our customers are telling us that doesn't change whatsoever, despite Apple's motives or goals around Flash.

At the end of that workflow, they push buttons. Those buttons create prints; they create PDF; they create HTML; they create Flash; they create video, whatever the formats of choice of by consumers interacting with that content on the web. That is the output of our tools. Whatever formats are the formats of the future, Adobe will support those, including HTML 5. Adobe will be the best tool provider in the world for HTML 5 contents when HTML 5 is ready. The fact of the matter is it's nowhere close to being ready today. There is very little browser support for it, and customers can't create content using some of the new innovation in HTML 5 until there's broader adoption by users with the browsers of choice, whether it is on a PC or a non-PC. We want help our customers get to that point, but it is going to take years, not a matter of weeks or months.

Saviage also kicked around HTML 5:

There is very little HTML 5 and that's on the web. All of those 200,000 applications that Apple talks about, those are all written in Objective-C and C code. None of that is being done in HTML 5 today. When you go to a browser, when you go to a website and a browser, there's tests starting to be done to provide alternatives using HTML 5. But there's only two browsers today that support HTML 5, Safari and the Mac. Google Chrome supports some aspect of it in Windows. So until there's broader support for HTML 5, the browsers are not going to implement full-fledged support for it. The issue is that HTML 5 is still in the specification design stages, and we're a long way away from getting agreement around things like which video compression technology to use and agreements around some of the other technologies. So it sort of a chicken and egg situation.

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