With the apparent iPhone 4.0 SDK ban on cross-compiled code, Adobe has begun firing back at Apple. The New York Times Bits Blog carried the following statement from Adobe:

We are aware of Apple’s new SDK language and are looking into it. We continue to develop our Packager for iPhone OS technology, which we plan to debut in Flash CS5

The TheFlashBlog (which readers might remember from iPad porn posts past) took it far more personally:

What is clear is that Apple has timed this purposely to hurt sales of CS5. This has nothing to do whatsoever with bringing the Flash player to Apple’s devices. That is a separate discussion entirely. What they are saying is that they won’t allow applications onto their marketplace solely because of what language was originally used to create them. This is a frightening move that has no rational defense other than wanting tyrannical control over developers and more importantly, wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. This does not just affect Adobe but also other technologies like Unity3D.

[...] Now let me put aside my role as an official representative of Adobe for a moment as I would look to make it clear what is going through my mind at the moment. Go screw yourself Apple.

The timing does seem interesting. Apple could have put this in iPhone 3.2 for iPad. They could have skipped iPhone 4.0 betas and put it in the final iPhone 4.0 GM release (rendering wasted all the apps (time and money) developers had built using CS5 between Flash release and iPhone 4.0 release).

The timing could be to hurt Adobe CS5 sales (though certainly lots of creative professionals use CS5 for reasons that have nothing to do with Flash cross-compiling) or it could be an advance warning to developers not to use those tools because they won't be allowed (or perhaps even compatible) with the final iPhone 4.0 release. Spending several months making an iPhone app in CS5 and then not being able to run it under iPhone 4.0 would be worse.

Ultimately, the language used by Apple is unclear and everyone is going to waste a lot of time and worry until it's clarified.