Macalope: Why There's No Flash or Java For the iPhone

iPhone SDK: Smashing Flash Rumors

Another analyst deflating missive from everyone's favorite mythical Mac pundit, the Macalope. This time, the horny headed one explains why there's no Flash or Java on the iPhone:

Uh, because they blow?

There's more to it than that, of course:

And here we have the real issue. Sure, the iPhone could run Flash, but — particularly given the already unoptimized state of Flash on OS X — it would probably have to run some stripped-down, crappier version of Flash.

For the full story behind the various procs and cons, check out the full article, and also take a look at the Macalope's weekly column for the latest Windows Mobile CES news -- which makes TiPb wonder if Ballmer is picking his code names from Lady Marmalade these days...

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

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

Macalope: Why There's No Flash or Java For the iPhone


Some unsubstantiated opinions based on the conjecture of paid analyst Rob Enderle, whose previous claims to fame include predicting the death of Bluetooth back in 2004, backing the technically meritless (and losing) side of the SCO/Linux debacle in 2007, Vista performing vastly better in the marketplace in 2008, and Apple being badly hurt in 2008 by its end-of-2007 laptop lineup and Leopard. Very credible.

Yes, isn't it amazing how after some Apple-haters were blown away by the iPhone, they still haven't grasped the concept of Apple's superior innovation? Nope. They believe because Flash blows on their last piece-of-sh*t phones, it will have to blow on the iPhone too. How could Apple and Adobe POSSIBLY deliver a great Flash experience on the iPhone without Bill Gates and his team of retards involved? It can't be DONE!! They've already TRIED!!! :lol:

The answer is very simple. Flash is not technically practical on iPhone.

  1. Full version of Flash is too big, too slow for iPhone
  2. Flash-lite is so lame (not compatible with latest Flash on PC/Mac, etc.)
  3. iPhone's CPU is not so fast
  4. iPhone's GPU is decent, but Flash is not able to take advantage of it
  5. Many Flash contents on Web are too big for iPhone

I believe Skyfire is a server-side proxy browser, i.e. you don't actually get webpagesm but when you ask for one, Skyfire's server fetches it instead, renders it, and sends you a graphic representing the pre-crunched version of the site optimized for your phone.
One huge problem with this, of course, is that the process kills SSL (secure socket) connections, which is a security concern and pretty much means security conscious folks will stay away from it (much like Opera Mini)

Sorry, but I'll only believe Apple or Adobe telling me it can't be done.
When the Wright Brothers were experimenting with flight, all known engines of the time were far too weak and way too heavy to get a person off the ground... and making them more powerful only made them heavier. So they figured something out. That what Apple does. They figure things out. Good thing THEY'RE not quitters.

hell yeah that's right I agree with Steve 100% plus I believe apple don't want flash on the phone right now because they have a plan of when they want it to come out first they came with edge then 3g now it's going to be flash. Watch what I tell u iPhone with flash June 2009. Be ready to upgrade.