Adobe wants to know when Flash is coming to Apple’s iPhone

“Apple Inc. and longtime partner Adobe Systems Inc. are at a flash point over the iPhone,” Ben Charny reports for Dow Jones Newswires.

“Since its debut in late June, the iPhone’s exalted mobile Web browser has been off limits to nearly all videos delivered over the Internet. That’s because the browser isn’t compatible with an Adobe-made media player, known as ‘Flash Player,’ which is used to view Internet videos,” Charny reports.

Charny reports, “Adobe’s patience appears to be wearing thin. ‘No one aside from (Apple Chief Executive) Steve Jobs has any idea if or when it’s coming,’ Ryan Stewart, Adobe’s chief spokesman for its Internet-based applications, wrote on his blog last week. ‘Everyone I talk to doesn’t know anything.'”

“The iPhone’s history is already marked by Apple’s demands scaring off would-be Apple partners, including No. 2 U.S. cell phone operator Verizon Wireless, jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, and China Mobile, Asia’s biggest telecom. Now it appears the same tactics are straining Apple’s relationship with long-time partner Abode,” Charny reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Complete load from Charny. Just because Verizon et al. blew it and couldn’t make deal for the device that is transforming their industry, doesn’t mean that Apple “scared off would-be partners.” As for China Mobile: Apple CEO Steve Jobs told CNBC on January 15, 2008, that rumors of on-again, off-again negotiations with China Mobile are simply untrue; just a single China Mobile rep. has flown out to Cupertino only once. There are no ongoing negotiations, just a first meeting, Jobs explained. Jobs wants iPhone in China, but details will come later. This is nothing more than a case of piss poor “reporting” from Charny.

Charny continues, “The stand-off could resolve by the end of the month when Apple’s due to release iPhone software tools that may include a way to make the iPhone compatible with Flash Player. That’ll certainly cheer investors; any ensuing Adobe/iPhone tie up will erase a lingering concern and certainly lift Apple’s beleaguered shares. But failure to end the stalemate raises the volume on the issue, and puts even more strain on the two companies’ relationship.”

MacDailyNews Take: Beleaguered?! Apple’s shares are trading at $123.30, up 46% from their opening price of $84.65 one year ago today. Adobe’s shares, by the way, are trading at $35.16, down 14% from their opening price of $40.09 one year ago today. The only things beleaguered here are Charny’s logic and credibility.

Charny continues, “iPhone sales seem to be taking a slight hit as a result of the kerfuffle, though no formal study’s ever been made. The lack of Flash Player is though an oft-cited reason why someone wouldn’t buy it, according to a number of different Apple online user forums.”

MacDailyNews Take: More made up crap masquerading as “reporting.” Charny is a joke.

Charny continues, “The closest Apple has come to addressing the issue was shortly after the iPhone’s release, when Jobs, in a widely-circulated published interview, said Flash Player would ultimately make it to the iPhone. With both companies keeping mum since then, it’s been largely left to outsiders to suggest why the two aren’t yet seeing eye to eye… Around 2002, Adobe dropped support for Apple’s Macintosh computers, and then introduced several other software products that were only compatible with Microsoft software.”

Full article, Think Before You Click™, here.

Charny is absolutely horrible at his job. Adobe never dropped support for Apple’s Macintosh computers. Without Apple Macintosh computers there would be no Adobe today.

The only Mac products Adobe ever dropped support for were products that Apple did such a better job with that Adobe simply couldn’t compete. See Final Cut vs. Premiere (which is back on the Mac, by the way).

Back in January 2007, six months before iPhone’s release, The New York Times’ John Markoff interviewed Apple CEO Steve Jobs who said in reply to a Flash on iPhone question, “You don’t need to have Flash to show YouTube. All you need to do is deal with YouTube. And plus, we could get ‘em to up their video resolution at the same time, by using H.264 instead of the old codec.”

Apple has since prompted Adobe to support H.264 in Flash either directly or indirectly (see related articles below). Perhaps Jobs wants even more from Adobe before he grants them access to the hottest mobile device on the planet?


  1. How does one extrapolate “patience wearing thin” from the phrase “. ‘Everyone I talk to doesn’t know anything.'” on an Adobe blog?

    Just goes to show, if there’s no news, then just make it up to get clicks. Thats the world we live in now.

  2. adobe needs to learn that flash is NOT an internet standard and trends with developers are last moving away from its use, i love having almost no ads on the iphone, and i havnt yet needed to go to the page of a new car or computer game with heavy flash load times, i hate them.

  3. As Jerry said above, Adobe hasn’t exactly shown glowing support for Apple users over the past few years, so why should Apple support them without something in return.

    Sorry Adobe, think Mac before Windows on your next update and maybe Apple will think of you when they release a hot product.

  4. I’m sure there are both technical and business reasons why Apple have not provided support for Flash yet. Could be potential viruses, crashes, greater processor load to why promote a technology we don’t own and do get any money from.

  5. Since apple choose EDGE over 3G because of its nationwide coverage, I wonder if flash has NOT been enabled because of its bandwidth usage, and need for “powerful” hardware to run.

    Perhaps the iPhone simply cant run flash to the satisfaction of Apple.
    They say we didnt get 3G because of the power hog it is. Same may be true of flash.

    I mean youtube switching to H264 meant better compression and a softer blow to EDGE to carry it to the iPhone and iPhone being able to run it without hammering the battery.

  6. Frankly, I’d like to see an ad blocker developed for iPhone’s Safari before I see Flash. It’s something that would be nice to have, but I’ve had my iPhone since September, use Safari heavily, and I can count the number of times I’ve really missed Flash on one hand.

  7. The only way to make sense of this article is to consider that the author was leaned on, or paid, to write this by someone from Adobe.

    Throughout the article there are deliberate untruths, each of which is intended to suggest that Apple needs Adobe flash or sales will suffer.

    The quality of american journalism, with few exceptions, is abysmally low. This site is a good indicator of that, with MDN making repeated, and often obvious, corrections to articles about Apple. Yet I do not think, for a minute, that journalists are ignorant and sloppy only when it comes to writing about Apple.

    Publications should be forced to print corrections and retractions, like reputable newspapers and journals do around the world.

    What is the value of truth in America today?

  8. I’d like to request a way to turn off MDN’s commentary within articles so that I could read the actual content without having to skip past all of the Apple fan-boy asskissing. It really is annoying. I appreciate the links to all of the stories, but I could really care less what MDN’s take on them are.


  9. Thanks for that confirmation C1.

    Otherwise my gut reaction is: What’s the big deal, Adobe took their sweet time getting CS3 to OS X, and if Adobe really wants to kick things up a notch in its favor how about providing a non-flash-based h.264 media player for the iPhone. In the real world the truth is that Flash is just another vehicle for increasing Windows installations because, up to now, there have not been any OS X based flash servers for media industries, like broadcasting, the one I work in. Every time we get a Flash rep in here it’s always a discussion of how many Windows machines will be needed and how expensive it will be “to do it” on OS X versus Windows, and blah blah blah. From a content provider standpoint, incorporating Flash requires buying into Windows. What’s up with that!?

    But if you say the article is a load… then never mind.

  10. It pains me to bring these articles to you, but you should all read these to get a different perspective as to why flash isn’t on the iPhone:

    As a UI designer and Flash developer, I can tell you I would love to see Flash on the iPhone – but only if it could work as well as it does on the desktop – and we all know that flash is pretty much a memory hog, no matter how cool the UI for the application may be.

    The other thing that most of us don’t consider is that Flash is really tied to the notion of mouse-interaction – consider how, in an immersive flash experience, how many rollover effects you encounter and how they form the feedback loop, enhancing your experience. The iPhone has no “rollovers”, no mouse feedback, so the way flash listens for and responds to user interaction would have to change fundamentally. This may the biggest technical hurdle that stands in Adobe’s way to port a player to the iPhone – no to mention performance enhancements that will allow it to run in the much smaller memory footprint of mobile OS X.

    For now, it seems that flash simply can’t make it to the party in its current form.

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