Flash! Adobe And Apple Don't Get Along

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Did Adobe diss Apple on Monday? Sure sounded like it. Are the companies even speaking? Doesn’t sound like it.

Consider what an Adobe exec said yesterday, following the announcement of a workaround that allows Adobe Flash apps to run on Apple's iPhone.

"We believe these apps are good for Apple and good for the iPhone," Adrian Ludwig, a product marketing manager with Adobe's Flash Platform group, told reporters on Monday. "We have no reason to believe that Apple won't love this."

Adrian, what do you mean "no reason?" Have you even spoken to Apple about this? Has anyone at Adobe? Apparently not. Did Apple even know to expect this? I bet not.


Asked if Adobe worked with Apple to create the new tools, Ludwig said they are "entirely based on technologies that any other developer would have access to."

Does that sound like the special relationship you would expect of two companies so responsible for each other's success? Where would Adobe be today without Apple, and vice versa?

The tension was also apparent during Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch's keynote at the start of the Adobe Max conference, this week in Los Angeles. Lynch gently mocked the iPhone for not running Flash by comparing it to an old, rotary-dial telephone.

Adobe said it is still hopeful it will get a Flash Player on the device eventually, however. Some have speculated that Apple is concerned that Flash Player will offer less that optimal performance on its device. Others think Apple does not want Flash on the iPhone, period.

If that is the case, whatever issue there is over Flash on the iPhone may be just the beginning.

This is just the most recent chapter in the story of how Apple just can't help competing with its friends--and how Adobe promoted Windows applications at the expense of Apple hardware sales.

Apple then develops apps that compete with Adobe and the animosity continues.

This stuff goes back so far that I am not even sure most people at the two companies are even aware of its roots. Yet, it seems obvious the companies could--and should--be working more closely together.

Flash on the iPhone is a good idea that makes sense for users, developers, and even for Apple. If there is a hardware or OS problem, Apple needs to own up and make changes.

More importantly, as a customer of both Adobe and Apple, I would like to think the two companies are working together closely to create new magic. Sadly, this doesn't appear to be the case.

David Coursey tweets as @techinciter and can be contacted via his Web site.

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