Is Steve Jobs lying about Flash not working on iPhone?

RUMOR ALERT — I have not substantiated this with anyone at either Adobe or Apple, so might turn out to be totally false:

Today I got a note from someone I know who works closely with Adobe and Apple. He saw my “Apple stabs Adobe in the Back” post and wanted to give me some details about what’s going on between Adobe and Apple. He says that he’s seen Flash running on an iPhone in a lab and that it’s been running for quite a while and that it’s not a technical issue that caused Steve Jobs to go public about not putting Adobe’s Flash on the iPhone. He wrote “Geez – my Chumby with half the CPU horsepower can run Flash8/AS2.”

So, what’s the reason, according to my source?

Adobe is playing hardball with Apple over their PDF renderer. “Adobe wants Apple to use the Adobe PDF renderer.” His thesis? Steve Jobs is playing hard to get to get Adobe to give up this demand.

Again, I have no idea if this is true or not. But tomorrow’s SDK announcement with Apple is going to be very interesting to listen to.

161 thoughts on “Is Steve Jobs lying about Flash not working on iPhone?

  1. Why should Apple pay Adobe to license Flashlight or Flash; and/or pay Microsdoft to license Silverlight. Instead of paying royalty fees to support proprietary technologies; why shouldn’t Apple just continue to support H.264 codec which is part of the MPEG-4 standard.

    Wouldn’t supporting open standards be better for the web, for mobile computing and for Apple and its’ customers, then giving money to either Adobe or Microsoft that has the ironic side-effect of helping to establish a proprietary technology as a defacto standard. If Apple were to try to establish a proprietary technology, it would be their own. But from Apple’s recent history, they’ve made every attempt to build their solutions on standard technologies. Why would anyone think they would act differently when it came to Flash. They convinced the largest repository of videos on the web, youtube, to move from Flash to H.264. What would make anyone think that they would ever get around to supporting Flash, other than to keep it as a negotiating tactic with Adobe. Why give up that chip earlier than absolutely necessary.

    Apple did in fact choose to support the ActiveSync protocol on the iPhone which is part of the Microsoft Exchange email technologies. Apple added this technology only out of necessity; to be compatible with Exchange servers already deployed at thousands of corporations. But in that fight Blackberry is already running away with the lion’s share of mobile email, because their system works most of the time; several long high-impact well-publicized outages not withstanding. Apple doesn’t want to be associated with the Blackberry outages that take out all Blackberry devices, even iPhones if Apple were so inclined to support RIM technology. On the other hand if a companies Exchange servers go down, all email is down including desktops. The IT folks and Microsoft will take all the heat.

    Plus, I can see Apple building out an email server solution, more robust than the open source solutions that are already included for free with OS X Server.

    But as far as Flash or Silverlight is concerned, I wouldn’t be holding my breath if I were either Adobe or Microsoft. Apple is already supporting an open standard (H.264) and getting everyone who would listen to move away from licensed proprietary technologies (Flash and Silverlight) and the obligatory royalties. I can only see that as a good thing. Now all these websites who want to show up on the iPhone will have to provide their content in H.264.

    Stop whining! It’s cheaper to encode in H.264 anyway.

  2. Why should Apple pay Adobe to license Flashlight or Flash; and/or pay Microsdoft to license Silverlight. Instead of paying royalty fees to support proprietary technologies; why shouldn’t Apple just continue to support H.264 codec which is part of the MPEG-4 standard.

    Wouldn’t supporting open standards be better for the web, for mobile computing and for Apple and its’ customers, then giving money to either Adobe or Microsoft that has the ironic side-effect of helping to establish a proprietary technology as a defacto standard. If Apple were to try to establish a proprietary technology, it would be their own. But from Apple’s recent history, they’ve made every attempt to build their solutions on standard technologies. Why would anyone think they would act differently when it came to Flash. They convinced the largest repository of videos on the web, youtube, to move from Flash to H.264. What would make anyone think that they would ever get around to supporting Flash, other than to keep it as a negotiating tactic with Adobe. Why give up that chip earlier than absolutely necessary.

    Apple did in fact choose to support the ActiveSync protocol on the iPhone which is part of the Microsoft Exchange email technologies. Apple added this technology only out of necessity; to be compatible with Exchange servers already deployed at thousands of corporations. But in that fight Blackberry is already running away with the lion’s share of mobile email, because their system works most of the time; several long high-impact well-publicized outages not withstanding. Apple doesn’t want to be associated with the Blackberry outages that take out all Blackberry devices, even iPhones if Apple were so inclined to support RIM technology. On the other hand if a companies Exchange servers go down, all email is down including desktops. The IT folks and Microsoft will take all the heat.

    Plus, I can see Apple building out an email server solution, more robust than the open source solutions that are already included for free with OS X Server.

    But as far as Flash or Silverlight is concerned, I wouldn’t be holding my breath if I were either Adobe or Microsoft. Apple is already supporting an open standard (H.264) and getting everyone who would listen to move away from licensed proprietary technologies (Flash and Silverlight) and the obligatory royalties. I can only see that as a good thing. Now all these websites who want to show up on the iPhone will have to provide their content in H.264.

    Stop whining! It’s cheaper to encode in H.264 anyway.

  3. Some more thoughts: All my typos aside [this is some really good booze, inbibe and type], Stevo is just following the telco paradigm for mobile devices. ATT has their own ‘store’ for ringtones etc as does T-Mobile and others. WHY is this a big surprise.

    The hacker / jailbreaker community not only has an installer.app paradigm for apps, they also have a Debian like package manager RUNNING NOW. Google Cydia as well as ‘jailbreak’ or ‘installer.app’.

    What it boils down to is, Steve wants Flash quarantined to an ‘App’, preferably signed, and NOT in MobileSafari’s web space.. a space devoted to web pages, VERY lean Javascript / AJAX [see Google and Facebook's iphone pages, etc], and RSS.

    Outside that space of Mail and Web, the kids and flying baloney afficionados get the appSpace like ‘game apps’.. hence the show of Spore as a segregated app. Now whether Adobe will play by these rules [they can with AIR] .. well, that’s the question.

  4. Some more thoughts: All my typos aside [this is some really good booze, inbibe and type], Stevo is just following the telco paradigm for mobile devices. ATT has their own ‘store’ for ringtones etc as does T-Mobile and others. WHY is this a big surprise.

    The hacker / jailbreaker community not only has an installer.app paradigm for apps, they also have a Debian like package manager RUNNING NOW. Google Cydia as well as ‘jailbreak’ or ‘installer.app’.

    What it boils down to is, Steve wants Flash quarantined to an ‘App’, preferably signed, and NOT in MobileSafari’s web space.. a space devoted to web pages, VERY lean Javascript / AJAX [see Google and Facebook's iphone pages, etc], and RSS.

    Outside that space of Mail and Web, the kids and flying baloney afficionados get the appSpace like ‘game apps’.. hence the show of Spore as a segregated app. Now whether Adobe will play by these rules [they can with AIR] .. well, that’s the question.

  5. Apple has always played hardball with Adobe over a number of things, basically to keep the core user experience [and support headaches] away from the vendors, this is why:

    - Preview App supports basic PDF functionality.
    - Ditto Quicktime and basic Flash.
    - Ditto TextEdit and *.doc / *.rtf.

    These apps run wicked quick on either PPC or Intel desktops.

    Now we have a handset based on the [for a desktop, clunky, but for a handset okay] PPC ARM architecture.

    If any of you have a jailbroken iphone or touch you know that the apps for RTF, PDF, and **basic** Flash video *cough* Youtube.app *cough* are acceptable.

    But no way is Jobs going to allow Fuh-lash, a plugin that has had a checked past on the Mac OSX platform and that has even Intel users gnashing their teeth from time to time on his **new platform** with his **new userbase** of 2.5mil and rising iPhone users. Not with the current sucky telco infrastructure [in the US].

    Sun is a whole other kettle of fish. They will develop a RUNTIME that allows APPs that Apple will SIGN.

    Adobe wants a backdoor into *Mobile*Safari and Apple’s web experience. For the mobile end user, they want to be ‘the internet’.. And Stevo is saying uh, NO, I’m going after enterprise, and for the flying baloney you have the SDK. This should be painfully obvious.

    MobileSafari in firmware 1.x has set expectations. There is no copy/paste [which annoys me], no downloading, and no Youtube or other plugin handoff [*unless* you use javascript/URL transmogrification for Youtube].

    But we can already see how Apple is embracing the Youtube/Google AJAX way of doing things, heck, check Apple’s MobileSafari guidelines ["Don't use or bring up Flash"], and their addition of a Javascript error console inside Safari [Preferences > Safari > dot dot dot.

    Actions speak louder than words. What, in their docs as well as Stevo’s little diatribes are they doing? To what end? Draw your own conclusions.

    Oh, another piece of yellow journalism from me:

    Scooby stabs iPhone in the back:

    Go to ipodtech’s ‘iphone.app’ page:

    Service Unavailable

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.
    Reference #6.4cdcf180.1205151626.2bf7f7f5

  6. Apple has always played hardball with Adobe over a number of things, basically to keep the core user experience [and support headaches] away from the vendors, this is why:

    - Preview App supports basic PDF functionality.
    - Ditto Quicktime and basic Flash.
    - Ditto TextEdit and *.doc / *.rtf.

    These apps run wicked quick on either PPC or Intel desktops.

    Now we have a handset based on the [for a desktop, clunky, but for a handset okay] PPC ARM architecture.

    If any of you have a jailbroken iphone or touch you know that the apps for RTF, PDF, and **basic** Flash video *cough* Youtube.app *cough* are acceptable.

    But no way is Jobs going to allow Fuh-lash, a plugin that has had a checked past on the Mac OSX platform and that has even Intel users gnashing their teeth from time to time on his **new platform** with his **new userbase** of 2.5mil and rising iPhone users. Not with the current sucky telco infrastructure [in the US].

    Sun is a whole other kettle of fish. They will develop a RUNTIME that allows APPs that Apple will SIGN.

    Adobe wants a backdoor into *Mobile*Safari and Apple’s web experience. For the mobile end user, they want to be ‘the internet’.. And Stevo is saying uh, NO, I’m going after enterprise, and for the flying baloney you have the SDK. This should be painfully obvious.

    MobileSafari in firmware 1.x has set expectations. There is no copy/paste [which annoys me], no downloading, and no Youtube or other plugin handoff [*unless* you use javascript/URL transmogrification for Youtube].

    But we can already see how Apple is embracing the Youtube/Google AJAX way of doing things, heck, check Apple’s MobileSafari guidelines ["Don't use or bring up Flash"], and their addition of a Javascript error console inside Safari [Preferences > Safari > dot dot dot.

    Actions speak louder than words. What, in their docs as well as Stevo’s little diatribes are they doing? To what end? Draw your own conclusions.

    Oh, another piece of yellow journalism from me:

    Scooby stabs iPhone in the back:

    Go to ipodtech’s ‘iphone.app’ page:

    Service Unavailable

    The server is temporarily unable to service your request. Please try again later.
    Reference #6.4cdcf180.1205151626.2bf7f7f5

Comments are closed.