My Thoughts on Flash and Apple

I got off the plane a short time ago and found my inbox and voice mail were full of questions about the open letter Steve Jobs posted about Flash support on the iPhone and iPad. It’s a well written letter and outlines in the clearest and most direct way yet why there’s no Flash support on the iPhone or iPad. I suggest you read it yourself but it comes down to two issues, technical and business. Jobs lays out his case well although I’m sure there will be endless debate about each word used as folks attempt to read between the lines.
So, what does it mean?

1. Don’t expect Flash anytime soon on the iPad or iPhone. If that’s a deal breaker for you, than these aren’t the devices for you. Apple is going to preserve the app experience as they see fit as that’s a core differentiator for the platform. It was Steve’s last point and it’s the one that likely matters most.

2. Like Steve, I have not seen Flash work well on a mobile device. That doesn’t mean that it can’t or won’t. Adobe needs to not respond to Apple with words but rather actions and showcase shipping devices and how well they can run Flash. I’m especially interested to see how Flash works on Tegra 2 based devices.

3. The digerati can debate open and close and Apple’s motives (and they will) but none of that matters. This is the age of the connected consumer and the mass market adoption. If enough of Apple customers are frustrated to the point of not buying Apple devices, perhaps Apple will reconsider their position. Fact is, the lack of Flash does not appear to have slowed down Apple sales in the slightest. In fact, the opposite seems to be true. Apple’s customers, being viewed as valuable, are causing major content stakeholders to re-tool their content to make it available on Apple’s mobile platforms.

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