updated 10:45 am EDT, Wed September 22, 2010
Restored freedoms may encourage publishers
Apple's decision to loosen App Store rules and once again permit third-party development tools has had a "muted" impact on Adobe, at least in the short term, according to the latter company's CEO. Shantanu Narayen made the comment during his Adobe's third-quarter results call, in which it announced record revenue of $990.3 million, up 42 percent from the same quarter last year. GAAP net income rose from $136 million to $230.1 million.
In the long term the decision could have significant financial benefit for Adobe. The company's Flash cross-compiling tools should allow developers to produce apps for multiple platforms simultaneously, rather than spend separate time and resources on iOS. Such technology may especially relevant to magazine and newspaper publishers, for whom the ability to translate InDesign layouts into iOS apps may remove a lot of work from digital editions.
iOS has never been a significant part of Adobe's revenue, particularly as Flash itself is still blocked on Apple handhelds. The plugin is however rapidly expanding to other electronics. "Many smartphones, tablets and TVs are supporting the new Flash Player in the marketplace, including models from Google, Motorola, HTC, and Samsung," says Narayen. "In addition, we are working with strategic partners such as RIM, HP-Palm and Nokia to enable Flash on their platforms. And devices from Dell and LG and many other OSP partners will also soon be supporting Flash Player 10.1."