Apple shows no sign of reversing course on Adobe Flash for iPhone, iPod touch, iPad

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!“Apple’s new iPad is being criticized for lacking the capacity to render interactive content built using Adobe’s Flash platform, but the company shows no sign of reversing course,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“Since the iPhone debuted in 2007 without any support for Flash, Adobe has begun a revitalized campaign to breathe interest in Flash,” Dilger reports. “This includes the announcement of a new series of Flash 10.1 runtimes for Windows Mobile, Nokia S60/Symbian, Palm WebOS, and Android phones (but not RIM’s Blackberry). This suggests not having Flash will be a problem for the iPad.”

Dilger reports, “[However], Adobe’s arguments for Flash are difficult to support in the mobile realm. The iPhone has been wildly popular since its debut despite its lack of support for Flash. Apple’s smartphone dramatically raised the bar for what customers expected in a mobile web browser. By doing this without Flash, Apple essentially redefined what the web should look like, at least on a mobile device.”

“Interestingly, the history of Flash indicates that Apple isn’t just persecuting [Flash] as a bully,” Dilger reports. “If anything, Apple is just reclaiming its position in media delivery. After all, it was Apple that introduced video, animation, and multimedia on the desktop with QuickTime in 1991, back before Microsoft was even able to get reliable audio playback working across the spectrum of Windows PCs.”

Dilger reports, “Apple’s opposition to Adobe’s Flash isn’t an attack on a popular plugin to limit choice, but really an effort to restore the use of open standards on the web, which creates a real marketplace for consumer choice. If Adobe were really interested in supporting open standards rather than being a gatekeeper wielding proprietary control over multimedia playback on the web, it could have opened up Flash just as it once did with PDF.”

“Adobe would like to pretend that HTML5 is ‘a decade’ away because this offers some window of opportunity for Flash to remain relevant,” Dilger reports. “Apple has proven over the last three years that the iPhone and iPod touch could be wildly successful without Flash. That indicates no real problem for the iPad lacking support for Flash either.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

MacDailyNews Note: Help kill Adobe’s Flash. Join YouTube’s HTML5 beta here and on Vimeo just click the “Switch to HTML5 player” link below any video.


  1. Mabe I am just confused, but I noticed that Vimeo’s desktop uploader requires Adobe’s AIR. Now, I know AIR ain’t Flash, but it seems weird that in order to use the Vimeo uploader, I have to install and run AIR. Not what I wanted to do, i.e., give Adobe any more acreage on my drive. Granted, I don’t have to use the Desktop Uploader, but I’m just sayin’.

  2. Apple is not persecuting Flash per se but taking a stand against new proprietary plug-in requirements like Silverlight as well. It is necessary to keep 3rd party security holes from continuing to proliferate.

  3. The idealist in me says that an open web requires open standards. I shouldn’t have to install poor proprietary plugins for content delivery. Hence I think apple’s stand is a good one. It also smacks of smart self-interest: apple wouldn’t want someboedy else like adobe controlling a ‘choke’ point on its device. I certainly woulnd’t if I were calling the shots at apple. Using only open standards for web content makes sence: means apple doesn’t have to do a lot of unnecessary work, nor get locked into proprietary solutions that later come back to bite you the more popular they become and they can also claim compliance and good corporate citizenry. Win-Win. Apple has no obligation to be a ‘booster’ of other people’s products, particularly crappy ones like flash.

  4. @macbones

    Apple’s opposition to Flash has to do with the App Store. If you can program with Flash the iPad, there is no reason to use the App Store. All your applications can be as cool as native apps and not be under the scrutiny of Apple’s reviewers. Note that you cannot make cool apps with Javascript or HTML5 alone.The development tools are primitive. Even with regular HTML it is a handcoder’s world. Ever seen Javascript and CSS?

    Apple needs to provide a clear alternative and upgrade path if it wants to win this fight, otherwise it will frighten people from its platforms and drive them to the competition.

    I dont know if many of you remember Zilog that almost put out Intel out of business. They would have except they made one blatant mistake. They decided to push customers away from Intel’s instruction set towards something more efficient and incomaptible. Well customers decided that maybe they are more efficient, but they had so much invested in software that they didnt want to rewrite. Hope people see the lesson here..

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.