Steve Jobs: Why Apple Does Not Allow Flash on iPhones, iPods, iPads

By 02-05-2010   Apple

Steve Jobs has clarified why Apple does not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods, iPads. This hopefully clarifies all issues in mind of Apple product users, Apple critics and Adobe Flash fans.

Adobe recently pointed out that “Apple released a new draft of their iPhone developer program license which  had the effect of restricting applications built with a number of technologies, including Unity, Titanium, MonoTouch, and Flash CS5”.

Then Kevin Lynch, Adobe CTO revealed that they “have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices for both Flash Player and AIR. We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including Google, RIM, Palm (soon to be HP), Microsoft, Nokia and others.”

Now Steve Jobs replies point wise why Apple will not support Flash. Here we a few key takeaways from his statement –

  1. Adobe’s Flash products are a closed system, and Apple would rather adopt open source technologies like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript
  2. While Adobe says 75% of web video is in Flash, it is known that almost all this video is also available in H.264, which can be viewed on iOS devices.
  3. Flash causes Macs to crash.!
  4. Flash websites currently requires an older generation decoder
  5. Flash was designed for use with mice, not for touch screens – lets take the example of “rollovers” for instance, or pop up menus
  6. Adobe has been slow to keep updated with Apple’s platforms.

Basically Steve Jobs wants to suggest that the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards where Flash falls short. 200,000 Apple Store Apps proves Flash isn’t necessary for developers to create rich applications and games and creating HTML5 tools is the future.


26 comments on “Steve Jobs: Why Apple Does Not Allow Flash on iPhones, iPods, iPads

  1. Jason Spencer says:

    This is pretty scary. Apple claims it only supports open standards but it’s closing off to flash makes no sense to me.

  2. JC says:

    Meaningful use of HTML5 is at least two years away and full implementation won’t happen for another ten years. Meanwhile, consumers will toddle over to Android when they see that the same thing can be done for far less money and trouble in a less brown environment.

  3. Bored says:

    One thing I dont like about Steve’s reply is that he does not accept flash because it is not an open standard (adobe owns it and apple would probably have to pay money to use it) but they have adopted the video format h.264 for HTML5 which will cost apple money as it is not owned by them.
    To me this is a tactical manuever by apple as other browsers i.e. Firefox will not adopt the format h.264 because it will cost them, thus people will have to go with a browser that does support it such as apples safari.

  4. Rahul says:

    The real reason is that there are already many Flash applications available on the internet.
    If flash is made available to iphones then every one will use those applications. This will be a total loss to the appstore.
    Also creating apps on flash is a lot easier and many developers are already into flash development. So if flash were present in iphones they would use Flash SDK rather than learn a new SDK (Iphone SDK)

  5. Latrina Dellaratta says:

    As such a geeky person, I just loved this post on your blog. I’m glad we live is such a world that we get to use stuff like this, and your view of this topic interests me greatly. Cheers for this entry.

  6. Walter says:

    Meanwhile, we the consumer are once again the losers

  7. ShannonS says:

    Apple is actually hurting themselves. Because they do not support flash, people need access to flash capable devices. Hence, more non-Apple products being sold. I have an iPad and iPhone but a PC desktop which I use frequently for the many sites that use flash.

  8. Andy says:

    Let’s put the consumer first Steve! Just looking for a new car and all most all manufactures sites are flash….. Can’t say I am happy with the iPad. Will sell and buy a new device that puts the customer first.

    Pathetic from apple.

  9. Joe cool says:

    Andy, you are right. Steve and Apple is being very close minded by now allowing FLASH. I have designed and developed flash since it came out. It is on over 75% of all websites on the internet. So Steve is basically saying that they are not allowing their devices and customers to view ALL that great content. Cars, music, videos, e-learning, education, and more!

  10. Monty says:

    It is digusting. YOU are losing business.

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