Apple isn't exactly known for bowing to pressure, but Mr. Jobs had to be sweating just a little under his turtleneck Monday when Adobe demonstrated Flash Player 10 running on Nokia's Symbian operating system, Microsoft's Windows Mobile, and Google's Android. Real Flash, not Flash Lite. That leaves the Blackberry and iPhone platforms as the major holdouts in the Flash-free zone.
Adobe reportedly has an iPhone port pretty much completed, but Apple is so far refusing to let it see the light of day. This causes a gap both for users, who can't view some of their favorite sites as intended, and for developers, who can't use Flash as a run-anywhere platform for mobile like they can on the desktop. The status on the Blackberry is less clear, as Flash requires a native API but there is no native API on current models.
An Adobe spokesman said that they needed to work with Apple "beyond what is available through the SDK, its emulation environment, and the current license around it" to bring the full capabilities of Flash to the iPhone. Translation: Ideally Adobe wants to plug it into the browser but Apple isn't providing hooks for that, and the Apple license doesn't allow Adobe to try and work around it themselves.
Brian X. Chen suggests that Apple will never permit Flash on the iPhone, saying it would compete with the App Store and iTunes. In response to this, the Android guys make a good point: "Google could care less if that were the case with Android. Getting more people using mobile internet is their primary concern."