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November 3, 2009

Adobe not happy about iPhone's lack of Flash

Posted: 05:00 PM ET

Adobe is not happy about the iPhone's lack of Flash support and the company is accusing Apple of unfairly restricting the technology.

iPhone users who visit the Flash installation site are greeted with a not-so-subtle message claiming:

Flash Player not available for your device.

Apple restricts use of technologies required by products like Flash Player. Until Apple eliminates these restrictions, Adobe cannot provide Flash Player for the iPhone or iPod Touch.

Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform commonly used to add interactivity to Web sites. While it has been criticized for being resource intensive, Flash is still the most popular approach to to integrate animations and video into Web pages.

Since the iPhone's debut, the device's Safari browser has been unable to play Flash, and users routinely lament the loss of nearly all online video content. writes:

Apple declined to comment, but some iPhone developers speculate Apple opted against a full Flash experience because of technical problems it could raise on the handset, such as battery drainage or sluggish web browsing.

Last summer's release of the speedier iPhone 3GS did not ease Flash restrictions. Apple may have chosen to block Flash not for performance reasons, but because interactive Flash applications and games could compete with the iTunes App store.

Do you agree with Adobe that Apple is unfairly restricting technology by limiting Flash on the iPhone? Or is the message on Adobe's Web site simply propaganda aimed to shift the blame from Flash's performance to Apple's anticompetitive nature?

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Filed under: Apple • cell phones • consumer tech • Gaming • iPhone • iPod • mobile phones

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Bill   November 10th, 2009 3:22 pm ET

Just another reason why Apple sucks and will never get any real market share. Apple is just pissed that Flash is replacing quicktime as the standard for streaming video. Flash is installed on about 90% of every PC/MAC in the world, Quicktime is not.

It's all about marketing, they don't want anything that could possibly compete with iTunes or Quicktime. Mac does everything to hold on the the monopoly they have and never wants to play nice with anyone. Which is why they will always have that niche market and never have any presence in the business world.

William   November 10th, 2009 3:31 pm ET

All you Mac fanboi's need to do some reading before posting.

Flash is less of a resource hog than iTunes or Quicktime. Security threats with Flash? Yea, about as much as iTunes.

iTunes completely hijacks and bloats up your computer with so much usless crap it's rediculous. Flash is just a simple ActiveX plugin for a browser.

Mac is restricting is for marketing reasons. They don't want people to bypass their appstore for TV/Movies when you can get the same thing for free in flash through a browser. All other smartphones run flash just fine. All this nonsense about batter life, CPU slowdown, and security is a bunch of bunk.

iain1967   November 11th, 2009 1:04 am ET

I don't think not having flash on the iPhone is really that big of an issue at the moment. After all, it is a phone. Sure, it is slowly migrating to a personal computing device and I am sure as technology progresses and the phones become faster Flash will be looked at by Apple. I dont miss it much.

Bruce   November 11th, 2009 4:20 am ET

Yo, PC kidz: Thanks for all the speculation and predictions and raves. But "Death of Apple"? Get real. Long-time Mac+PC users have lost count of all the predicted Apple funerals that never happened. Besides Apple's currently growing market-share in smartphones and "personal computers" (bought with consumers' own money, not by companies for airport ticket-terminals etc), consider what else the "market" is saying:
"Adobe to cut 9 percent of workforce"....

It appears that computer owners no longer want expensive bloatware that kills CPU performance. Flash added to a handheld smartphone would turn it into a slooow, battery-sucking handwarmer - with really bad video. Try a (Flash-enabled) MacBook if you want to enjoy YouTube or Flash games or see other Flash video at gorgeous resolution. Developers and websites, use cross-platform MPEG video if you want lots of happy return visitors on PCs, Macs, iPhones, Droids, whatever!

As for Apple, Microsoft, Adobe, and so on all trying to protect proprietary hardware/software revenue, can you spell "duh"? It's that or roadkill.

zino315   November 11th, 2009 10:29 am ET

We all need to remember that Apple's success is largely due to it's control of the user's experience. As PC's have shown, anyone can throw together the cheapest components, load them with bloat-ware, take our money and blissfully watch us struggle. We have an insatiable appetite for cheap and the audacity to complain about it. Apple encourages and supports third parties to create accessories and software for it's product lines. Where third parties fall short, Apple creates it's own software. If Adobe or others do not resolve the mobile Flash Player issue, Apple may well have to step in. Adobe for one has proven it's ability to create wonderful apps so, why is a little thing like mobile Flash Player kicking it's butt?

Michael Maddox   November 11th, 2009 12:12 pm ET

Flash stinks. Period. It's a resource-hogging eyesore on any platform. Way to go, Apple!

Walden   November 12th, 2009 9:04 pm ET

I bet my millions bucks here...If it was a microsoft product or technology blocking such would really be ....

Justice Department Please!!!

Bee   November 13th, 2009 8:41 am ET

I have no regrets leaving my iphone 3g for the Motorolla Droid. If it slows my phone down, i can decide not to use it. I don't need a money hungry company playing god with my electronics.

A. Smith   November 15th, 2009 4:09 am ET

Adobe is the single greatest example of BLOAT WARE. Their coding is so bloated its a travesty. They must pay their coders by the hour, its so sad to see programs that do the same with 1/100 th. the overall program and memory use.

Randy   November 18th, 2009 2:23 pm ET

What I find ironic about this whole issue is that I am barraged with Apple ads on many sights I visit. These ads are adobe flash ads. Obviously Apple isn't that concerned about the end-users experience if it uses this 'bloatware'.

th3f1y   November 18th, 2009 5:36 pm ET

I would like to browse the web from my iphone as I do from my home computer. Until Apple enables Flash functionality this will not happen. If Apple continues to refuse to do this on the iphone, I will simply switch phones and phone companies if necessary. I have no loyalty to Apple or anyone else. The device that functions best – wins, as far as my purchasing power goes.

headbiznatch   November 18th, 2009 5:37 pm ET

go away, anti-"anything-but-text" Luddites.... let consumers make their own decisions. wait... sorry.. forgot we were talking about apple here. nevermind. anyone wanna by a used newton, in good condition? only $14000....

R L   November 18th, 2009 11:28 pm ET

flash....ahhhhhhhhh....king of the universe

Ken Sherman   November 19th, 2009 12:52 am ET

Let me get this straight. The World Wide Web, created to be a device and OS neutral method of information and entertainment delivery is not "complete" without a proprietary plugin that really only runs worth a damn on Windows? Flash is a pig on every platform but really only runs decently on Windows. To be fair, Quicktime and iTunes run much better on the Mac than other platforms due to the way the code is ported. What's wrong with using open standards like MP4 and H264 as YouTube does for the iPhone?

Michael Bradley   November 19th, 2009 4:24 am ET

I even add 'ClicktoFlash' to my computers to block Flash and I have not missed it at all. No over heating, no fans, no browser lock ups and best of all no marketing crap. One interesting thing is I get to see invisible Flash oblongs placed over other 'click here' type links in sneaky intercepts. This abuses like this just add to the other Flash problems. I strongly recommend the ClicktoFlash free add on to all who would like to try a Flash Free browser.

John P.   November 19th, 2009 9:46 am ET

Reading these comments, why do I get the feeling Apple users are sheep?

Flash being a resource hog and Apple protecting customers against themselves is laughable. Users, if it's draining your battery too fast, just turn the Flash off. It's that easy. Other smart phones support Flash. Enough said.

Bottomline is, Apple doesn't want to give you *choice* and are afraid that Flash applets and video will directly complete with their own.

And you bought the excuse of Apple being your nanny and knowing what's absolute best for you hook line and sinker. Tsk tsk...

David Shapiro   November 19th, 2009 9:51 am ET

Flash is used by so many things now. It does not appear to be a one night wonder. If it is just a security concern on their part, then have a popup message to the user saying so and asking the user if they want to enable flash. Wouldn't that be a reasonable solution?

Eric Dunn   November 19th, 2009 10:55 am ET

Ha, I sold both my iphones 3G 8GB on ebay two days ago for $640. My wife and I have droids and flash will be coming soon. Bye Bye Iphone!

Shwack D   November 19th, 2009 11:26 am ET

Sold my iphone – never buying another mac product again. Crap like this is exactly why.

Roy Orbison   November 23rd, 2009 1:23 am ET

It would appear that Jobs is the most intelligent idiot going. It would appear he has forgotten why Microsoft had to buy a huge share of Apple to bail them out and apple now has the addition of an Intel processor to complement it's point and click superiority in the computer market. To bad Jobs didn't add common sense to Apples coporate structure as he is poised to blow yet another market first lead. Good going moron ruins your chance for a second purchase of any Apple product by moi. Too bad but I think maybe I'll go with someone else for a smart phone.

Steve Prusik   December 20th, 2009 11:16 pm ET

Those who say Flash is a memory hog don't know what they are talking about. I am a java and flash developer. Run a profiler on your favorite flash application and see how much memory is really being used. I always check memory consumption on my flash applications. Adobe has done a great job of memory allocation.

Jc Vals   December 29th, 2009 2:12 am ET

I'm sure this is only a commercial strategy from Apple. For example, Nokia's smartphones suppport a mobile version of Flash without performance problems. I have an Iphone and I really love this gadget but I think that apple should revise its strategy regarding flash

A.Haraki   January 20th, 2010 1:20 am ET

it would have been much better if my 3gs had flash installed on it, too bad... But I'm supporting still supporting apple on their decision...

Draven   February 3rd, 2010 12:47 pm ET

This is another sad attempt by Apple to rule their customers with an iron fist.

With Macintosh computers, it's OS that they REFUSE to allow users to install on non-Mac hardware configurations.

Now it's Flash. Apple, in their lack of wisdom has decided to maintain tight control over their territory by refusing to put a competing piece of software on their devices, while making the excuse that they're holding out for HTML5......something that won't replace Flash in much of ANYTHING to begin with!

Apple are the biggest corporate shysters in the world, always willing to overcharge for pathetic, meager hardware.....or come out with a device that someone ELSE created YEARS before (MP3 players, Blackberrys and Tablet devices), then claim that it's a "REVOLUTIONARY" new Mac design.

They don't do anything for themselves. They ride the coattails of bigger, better companies who laid the groundwork..all while putting a fashion gimmick spin on their devices in an attempt to set themselves apart from the crowd. It's a slimy approach to doing business, but thankfully not everyone is fooled by their nonsense.

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