Apple's Jobs spurns Flash technology
By JEFFERSON GRAHAM
Forget about ever watching Web video on your iPhone, iPod Touch or new iPad if it relies on Adobe's Flash technology, now the dominant way to display online video and animation.
Yesterday, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the company will not use Flash on its mobile products because it is prone to crashing, weak on security and battery-draining. In an extraordinary essay on Apple's website, he called Flash an outmoded, "closed" system that makes it tough for outside software developers to create for Apple products. "Flash was created during the PC era — for PCs and mice," Jobs wrote.
Any hope that Apple and Adobe would come to terms now seems moot, and that's bad news for Adobe and its Flash software.
"It seems unlikely that Flash can survive this," said Jesse Freeman, a New York-based website developer who uses Flash.
Adobe had no comment.
Mike Olson, an analyst at Piper Jaffray, said Apple's stance won't have a huge impact on Adobe overall, because developers still need its other software. Its Dreamweaver, for instance, is the top program for making Web pages.
Still, the Jobs essay couldn't have come at a worse time for Adobe. The software giant in May is updating its Creative Suite software, hoping for better sales than the previous edition. Adobe thought it had a solution to its Apple problem with Creative Suite 5, which allows developers to create in Flash, yet have the project saved for the iPad and iPhone. Jobs quashed that in April, saying only programs created in Apple-approved software could be sold via its App Store.
Yesterday, Jobs said Flash is "no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of Web content." Yet, iPhone, Touch and iPad owners still have issues. They can view video on sites that use an alternative to Flash, but if they try to share those clips elsewhere, they won't play on Apple gadgets.