Apple, Adobe in New iPhone Rift

With thousands and thousands of Apps available in Apple's App Store, an iPhone can quickly become inundated with pages and pages of icons. In OS 4, users will be able to organize groups of Apps into folders. James Martin

With thousands and thousands of Apps available in Apple's App Store, an iPhone can quickly become inundated with pages and pages of icons. In OS 4, users will be able to organize groups of Apps into folders.
Will there be room at Apple's App Store for Flash?
James Martin
As its rift with Apple widens, Adobe has decided to stop work to bring Flash applications to the iPhone.

In a blog post late Tuesday, Mike Chambers, Adobe's principal product manager for the Flash platform, called out Apple in blunt language.

As developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time, and for seemingly any reason," Chambers said. "The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms."

The conflict with Apple has the potential to cost Adobe. After Apple modified the terms of its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license, which essentially prevented developers from using Flash to build iPhone applications, Adobe warned in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its business may be harmed.


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A couple of weeks ago, Apple modified the language of its newest iPhone software developers kit license, a move that effectively froze out Adobe. Apple has argued that Flash would degrade the performance of the iPhone. But in his blog, Chambers said Adobe had other options and then waved a red flag in front of Steve Jobs, mentioning Google as a more desirable alternative platform for developers:

Fortunately, the iPhone isn't the only game in town. Android based phones have been doing well behind the success of the Motorola Droid and Nexus One, and there are a number of Android based tablets slated to be released this year. We are working closely with Google to bring both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to these devices, and thus far, the results have been very promising," Chambers said. ...I think that the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers, and ultimately consumers, and that is not something that I want to actively promote...We are at the beginning of a significant change in the industry, and I believe that ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked-down platform that Apple is trying to create."
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    Charles Cooper is an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet. E-mail Charlie.

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