updated 09:20 am EST, Wed March 5, 2008
Future of iPhone Flash
Flash support for the iPhone should not be expected anytime soon, Apple CEO Steve Jobs has indicated. Addressing people at yesterday's shareholders meeting, Jobs insisted that Adobe's current Flash player for cellphones, Flash Lite, is insufficient for his goals. The iPhone needs something comparable to what can be run on notebooks and desktops, but this runs too slowly on Apple's cellphone processor, according to Jobs. "There's this missing product in the middle," he says. "It just doesn't exist. We enjoy a good relationship with Adobe."
Jobs adds that he is impressed with just the current state of cellphone technology, noting, "the fact that mobile devices can play video at all is astounding."
Adobe has yet to mention plans for Flash tailored to the iPhone, which may be necessary to satisfy Jobs, as both Flash 9 and Flash Lite 3 already support video. The company's spokesman for Internet applications, Ryan Stewart, admits that even he is in the dark regarding future iPhone plans. "No one aside from Steve Jobs has any idea if or when it's coming," he said in February. "Everyone I talk to doesn't know anything."
The Wall Street Journal observes that while Apple is not Adobe's biggest client, the addition of Flash support to the iPhone could be financially beneficial, particularly as Adobe's stock has slid 19 percent for the year. Apple and Adobe have however been experiencing strained relations in past years; Adobe at one point delayed some Mac support, and also began introducing Windows-only products. Apple, in turn, made changes to its lines that disrupted the distribution of Adobe products. The companies have since attempted to reconcile most differences.