The iPad-Flash disconnect first came to light by way of Apple blog AppleInsider.com. The gang at AI noticed that promotional images posted on Apple’s Web site appear to depict the iPad displaying Flash-based content from NYTimes.com.
A promotional video posted at Apple.com also shows what appears to be that same Flash-based content loading fine on the iPad.
That same content, when accessed on an iPhone or iPod Touch, returns an error stating that Flash is required for viewing.
Representatives from Apple were not immediately for comment, and an Adobe representative said he could not definitively confirm the lack of Flash support on the iPad. Adobe did, however, post a blog on its Flash Platform Web site Wednesday that stated the following:
“There’s something important missing from Apple’s approach to connecting consumers to content. … Without Flash support, iPad users will not be able to access the full range of Web content, including over 70% of games and 75% of video on the Web. If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab — not to mention the millions of other sites on the web — I’ll be out of luck.”
Paul Threatt, a graphic designer from Atlanta, wasn’t too pleased with the apparent disparity between Apple’s promotional materials and its actual product. He decided to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
“It definitely struck me as misleading,” Threatt tells me. “They know it, everybody in the industry knows it, and I just wish they would depict the capabilities of the product accurately when they’re promoting it.”
Threatt’s complaint makes his concerns perfectly clear.
“In several advertisements and images representing the Apple products in question, Apple has purposefully elected to show these devices correctly displaying content that necessitates the Adobe Flash plug-in,” it says.
“This is not possible on the actual devices,” it continues, “and Apple is very aware of that fact. Despite the controversial lack of support for Adobe Flash on these devices, Apple has elected to depict these correctly utilizing the Flash plug-in. This constitutes willful false advertising and Apple’s advertising practices for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and the new iPad should be forcibly changed.”