10-Q Watch: Adobe Admits Apple’s Anti-Flash Strategy Could Be Damaging

Adobe Flash

In the “timing is everything” department, Adobe (NSDQ: ADBE) filed its 10-Q the day after Steve Jobs threw another batch of lightning bolts at its highly popular Flash platform and included an admission that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) poses risks. The language (first noted by Bloomberg) may have already been in the risk area in the filing but it has new resonance coming so soon: “… to the extent new releases of operating systems or other third-party products, platforms or devices, such as the Apple iPhone or iPad, make it more difficult for our products to perform, and our customers are persuaded to use alternative technologies, our business could be harmed.”

Oh, yes, it could be. As Daring Fireball‘s Jon Gruber caught in the new developers’ agreement for iPhone OS4, Apple specifically rules out the kind of workaround Adobe is offering with its upcoming Flash Professional CS5 to make apps work with Flash on iPhones and iPads. Flash use still far outstretches Apple’s devices but Jobs’ antipathy for it is accelerating HTML5 use and making life more complicated for developers and content companies heavily reliant on Flash.

Update: Adobe CTO Keith Lynch blogged Friday about next’s week’s launch of CS5 and Apple’s SDK changes. His message: the ability to package apps for the iPhone or iPad is just one feature of the new product — and it still will be included. “It is up to Apple whether they choose to allow or disallow applications as their rules shift over time,” Lynch wrote. He also played up the difference between programming for one or two devices versus a wide approach, contending that “multiscreen is growing beyond Apple’s devices.”

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