Adobe CEO: We're bringing Flash to the iPhone

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said his company is developing a version of Flash to work with the iPhone, adding that "we will work with Apple."The comments, which were made on Adobe's earnings conference call late Tuesday, were the first directly addressing the iPhone Flash issue.

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said his company is developing a version of Flash to work with the iPhone, adding that "we will work with Apple."

The comments, which were made on Adobe's earnings conference call late Tuesday, were the first directly addressing the iPhone Flash issue. Apple CEO Steve Jobs has said that Flash Lite wasn't up to iPhone standards. Adobe's move, which is likely to be big news in iPhone circles, illustrates the clout that the iPhone has. Adobe's Flash Lite is installed on 500 million devices and the company is still creating a iPhone friendly version.

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Here's what Narayen had to say (see SeekingAlpha transcript):

Well, you really believe that Flash is synonymous with the internet and frankly, anybody who wants to browse the web and experience the web's glory really needs Flash support. We were very excited about the announcement from Windows Mobile, adoption of Flash on their devices and the fact that we've shipped 0.5 billion devices now, non-PC devices. So we are also committed to bringing the Flash experience to the iPhone and we will work with Apple. We've evaluated the SDK, we can now start to develop the Flash player ourselves and we think it benefits our joint customers. So we want to work with Apple to bring that capability to the device.

The comments defused what was becoming a tense situation between Apple and Adobe, which recently licensed Flash Lite to Microsoft.

Adobe's iPhone news comes amid a busy 24 hours for the company. Among the notable items:

  • Adobe reported a strong first quarter, beat estimates and raised guidance (company statement). The company reported revenue of $890.4 million, up 37 percent from $649.4 million in the same quarter a year ago. That revenue tally exceeded expectations. Meanwhile, Adobe reported earnings of 38 cents a share, which was also ahead of expectations. Excluding charges Adobe's earnings were 48 cents a share, three cents better than Wall Street estimates. The quarter was again powered by sales of Creative Suite 3. As for the second quarter, Adobe projected revenue of $855 million to $885 million with earnings of 45 cents a share to 47 cents a share excluding charges. Perhaps more importantly, Adobe is managing through a slowing U.S. economy well. "We are clearly monitoring the economic environment in the U.S. like every other company does and I think we've always said that while we are not immune, we are fortunate and we do have global as well as a diversified business," said Narayen.

  • The company announced that its Adobe Flash Media Rights Management Server software is available (statement, Andy Plesser video demo). Think DRM for Flash. The software is targeted toward broadcasters and media companies.