It's not trench warfare, but it's not far off. This week Apple CEO Steve Jobs published an open letter on Apple.com, lambasting Adobe Flash, a popular multimedia platform not supported by the Apple iPad and the Apple iPhone. "I wanted to jot down some of our thoughts on Adobe’s Flash products so that customers and critics may better understand why we do not allow Flash on iPhones, iPods and iPads," Jobs wrote.
He went on to slam Adobe for a range of maladies, from the battery-draining qualities of Flash to the program's ostensibly poor performance. Apple, Jobs explained, knows "first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash."
The battle between Adobe and Apple grew more heated in early April, when Apple introduced its newest tablet computer. Adobe, which was not offered a chance to develop a Flash platform for the iPad, quickly took to the company blog and attacked Apple. "There's something important missing from Apple's approach to connecting consumers to content," the company wrote, pointing out the 75 percent of web videos would remain unwatchable without Flash.
In his letter to consumers, Jobs sought to play down any personal tensions between Apple and Adobe, pointing out that "the two companies worked closely together to pioneer desktop publishing and there were many good times." Still, Jobs made it clear that neither the iPhone nor the iPad would carry Flash anytime soon.
"Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access 'the full web' because 75 percent of video on the web is in Flash," Jobs said. "What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads.... the 200,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games."
Talk to us. Should Apple products support Adobe Flash?