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Apple may change iPhone SDK to avoid antitrust case

updated 11:45 pm EDT, Mon May 3, 2010

Apple could dodge FTC complaints with SDK change

Apple could avoid a possible FTC antitrust investigation by changing the terms of the iPhone 4.0 SDK, insiders said Monday night. The FTC would supposedly leave Apple alone if it let developers write iPhone apps using other tools, such as Adobe's Flash CS5 or MonoTouch. How likely this would be wasn't described.

Due to the way the WSJ anonymizes sources, it wasn't clear whether the contact was from Apple, hinting at possible reciprocation, the FTC, or another organization altogether. Apple CEO Steve Jobs' criticism of third-party tools makes it unlikely that his company has changed opinions in a short space of time.

The new update as well as companionstories have also reinforced the one-time rumor and now have both the FTC and the Department of Justice potentially launching investigations. Procedures are reportedly at such an early stage that neither agency is certain which should lead or when one of them can commit to any investigation.

Government pressure may be opposed by Apple, which believes that third-party development tools have often held back advancement of the Mac and could do the same for the iPhone. However, developers have criticized Apple for not only restricting the software they can use to write apps but for artificially inflating the cost of supporting more than one platform. Mobile advertiser Greystripe's CEO Michael Chang has explained that writing an app using Flash CS5 for the iPhone could cost $75,000 initially but would cost just a few thousand dollars more to port to Android. Without Adobe's tool, however, developers could be forced to rewrite from scratch and spend as much as they did before. The sheer expense could be considered anti-competitive as it would make writing for more than one platform cost-prohibitive for smaller studios.

Adobe has tried to sidestep technical questions and has accused Apple of political maneuvering to attack Flash. It has said it plans to stop supporting the iPhone in cross-platform development after Flash CS5 and may be giving employees Nexus Ones to promote a personal switch to the more Flash-friendly Android platform.

by MacNN Staff



  1. rvhernandez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    PS3 vs XBox vs Wii?

    Don't each of these platforms have their own development tools and requirements?

    Comment buried. Show
  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Man I wish this rumor to be sooo true. Can't wait for the next bullshit that Steve Blowjobs writes after finally coming up for air.

    " Whoah what's happening? We may be getting investigated for anti-trust. s*** I better write another letter for the lemmings to read and make up some bullshite why we decided to change the SDK"

  1. mtnrunner2

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't capitulate, Apple!

    Apple should do whatever is best for the product and their their business strategy, not what the government goons want them to do. If that entails allowing Flash conversion, fine. If not, fine.

    However, that does not include brownosing the brownshirts at the FTC.

  1. SierraDragon

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So what?

    Apple does not qualify as a monopoly so the decision to not support (proprietary) Flash which is a dying technology that mostly led to sucky resource-hog features on mobile media is simply no big deal. The world will do just fine with HTML5.

  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Apple has only a quarter or so of smartphone

    market share so it hardly qualifies as a monopoly. I wonder who started this antitrust rumor? Since so many haters insist that Apple's mobile platform is going to fail because of the walled garden approach, why are they so concerned what Apple does. Apple isn't destroying Adobe since Flash is supported on Mac desktop computers. There's absolutely nothing wrong with having an alternative technology to view content. I would think Adobe and Flash would be under scrutiny if Flash use is as widespread as they say it is. Flash technology sounds like a monopoly to me.

  1. vriva

    Joined: Dec 1969



    A rumored possible reaction by Apple about a rumored investigation.


  1. facebook_Thomas

    Via Facebook

    Joined: May 2010


    But flash isn't on any mobile device?

    How can anyone complain that flash isn't on the iPhone and not realize that none of the smart phones have full flash???

    First make it work on any phone and then start talking about the iPhone. Until then you have nothing but vaporware so there is no product to argue about.

  1. legacyb4

    Joined: Dec 1969


    So should Adobe be investigated

    for not supporting ALL platforms in their Flash development environment? Better yet, should they be penalized for *dropping* the iPhone after having had support for it?

  1. davidlfoster

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This article has less weight than a...

    rumor about a rumor. It is a waste of ones and zeros.

  1. Hardcache

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Idiotic or absolutely stupid?

    "...unfairly skews competition by forcing companies to develop either for Apple or for everyone else."

    That would be hilarious - the company that has always been an after thought being accused of forcing companies to develop for it... ha ha ha! That would be truly funny if anything came of this - because it would be far too easy to follow the money after the absurdity. The notion that it is wrong for a company to ask developers to develop for... your platform! Ha ha ha! As if Apple is rightfully always to accept Window hand me downs.

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