Adobe And Others Wondering If iPhone Will Ever Support Flash


When Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) released the iPhone last summer, it did not support Adobe’s (NSDQ: ADBE) Flash Player, which meant Internet videos and other Web sites developed in Flash would not work on the phone. Google’s (NSDQ: GOOG) YouTube was one of the only video-sites that bothered to re-format some content, and even still only some of its videos became viewable on the iPhone. So, seven months after the iPhone’s release, the question remains: will Apple support Flash?

The WSJ reported today that Adobe’s patience is thinning. “No one aside from [Apple CEO] Steve Jobs has any idea if or when it’s coming,” Ryan Stewart, Adobe’s chief spokesman wrote on his blog last week. “Everyone I talk to doesn’t know anything.”

The stalemate could end this month when Apple is expected to release its SDK, and may include support for Flash. A Feb. 11 report in Gear Live said that they too had heard that Flash was coming soon to the iPhone, and speculated that it would come when the tool kit was available sometime soon.

Apparently, the hold-up has nothing to do with technology, but strained business relations between the two companies. The WSJ said several years ago, Adobe stopped supporting Macs and then released software that was only compatible with Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) products. Then, Apple fired back by making some changes that affected the distribution of Adobe products.



I just purchased an iphone. I would not have bought this product if I had known that just the basic video can not be viewed in a news story or e-mail. I paid $499.00 for a 16 gig product that looks good but has to many limitations. We shall see what happens in June. I am not convinced there will be enough inprovements to recomend this product to anyone. One other thing, Apple phone support sucks. I called to get help setting up e-mail it took three different calls to finally talk to someone who knew what they were talking about.
I guess it is hard to find good help these days!!!!


It's also not an either or decision. Apple could include the flash player, (therby better servicing their customers) and still include other codecs and technologies for video or applications or whatever. Apple's closed, proprietary system is what keeps the cost of their products so high.

some dude

the problem hardman, is the number sites that use flash and the amount of people accessing those websites. It ticks me off to no end when i can't properly view some sites that even use the most basic version of flash. Plus i'm tired of watching only youtube videos, i don't care if its slower, sometimes you just can't find what your looking for on youtube without flash.

John Dowdell

<em>"… Ryan Stewart, Adobe’s chief spokesman wrote on his blog last week."</em>

Wow, that's the second big promotion Ryan's had in the past few days.

Wake me up when he's crowned Supreme Overlord of The Universe, okay? I don't want to miss that…. ;-)

(On-topic, it would be great if ad-driven bloggers did not try to make (or reduplicate) a story where none exists. That type of bloggery just gets in the way.)


The iPhone is doing just fine without Adobe Flash…and who needs processor-sucking banner ads anyway? The Apple MPEG-4 is based on H.264 which is higher compression than the older H.263 format used by Flash, and therefore more suitable for downloading and streaming on todays services. Instead of Flash, Apple has a decision to make, whether to accomodate MS's SilverLight, which handles Blu-Ray, or the new open-source formats that will be developed under Android.

Flash was fine for "their time", but is getting long in the tooth, and like other formats, will probably not be considered the best for use in a few years. Unless Adobe makes the effort to upgrade Flash (and NOTHING is preventing Adobe from writing Flash plug-ins for the iPhone under the SDK),..better alternatives will develop.

Adobe Flash needs the iPhone, worse than the iPhone needs Flash.

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