Jobs Smash Puny iPhone Flash Rumor!


Also asked and answered at the Apple shareholders meeting covered earlier was a question about the oft-rumored Flash player for iPhone. CEO Steve Jobs put a Goldilocks-esque kibosh to the rumor thusly:

John Gruber's toldjasos and youmustbejokings were interrupted only by Jobs stressing that Apple and Adobe (who makes and markets the ubiquitous player) maintain good relations, so potential enough remains to feed the rumor-mill for posts to come.

However, it's worth remembering that:

  • Flash is a notorious resource hog on OS X and Adobe has never really addressed this for the desktop
  • Regardless of its ubiquity Flash remains a proprietary standard and Apple has stressed open standards (like AJaX for MobileSafari)
  • And perhaps most importantly, Flash is a competitor to Apple's (admittedly languishing) QuickTime and Apple could very well be preparing to put some of their sudden mobile browsing penetration behind their own product rather than just handing Adobe the space.

Macworld also adds that, with regards to raining on Dieter's iPhone SDK parade tomorrow, "you'll see a lot of applications out there this summer."

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Jobs Smash Puny iPhone Flash Rumor!


Heh. If you listen to the podcast you'll note that *I'M* the one who's pessimistic about whether or not we'll see apps tomorrow.

BTW- I linked to it in the post, but here's "Prince Mclean" from Apple Insider on Flash for iPhone (Surur should not read without heavy pro-Apple insulin protection).
Those articles are always funny, and are written as if no-one has made a smart mobile device before. Flash exists on mobile devices with limited resources like the Nokia N810, and is able to play YouTube videos.
Its almost as hilarious as this article saying RIM will die due to the iPhone getting exchange support.
Exchange Email Integration: RIMM's Lifeline in an iPhone World
Apple sells 4 million phones and now its an iPhone world!?! You've got to laugh...

Personally, as a pro web developer who uses Flash routinely, I'm kind of happy that the iPhone doesn't support it. Far too often it's misused more than used (not even counting the insipid monkey-punch banners). Several times I've rethought architecture to swap out Flash and swap in AJaX after looking at a beta on the iPhone.
All-Flash sites are more often than not poor design, IMHO, poor accessibility and poor usability, and I really hope the consortium comes up with an open standards based video container similar to the tag, so we can keep proprietary formats as marginalized as possible.