Added 4/30: Since I published this, I have gotten more than one email sent to me threatening me with bodily harm for writing this post. In fact, quite a few. So if you are reading my post, or any other post on this topic and then feel the need to want to hurt someone, I would suggest you stay calm, relax and then go about the rest of your day. This topic is not worth anyone getting that upset over it.
Clearly Apple must be feeling some pressure from the large group of consumers who are tired of not being able to get Flash content, specifically video, on Apple’s iPad and iPhones because Steve Jobs just posted an article on Apple’s website entitled “Thoughts On Flash”.
Steve starts off by saying that, “Adobe has characterized our decision as being primarily business driven“, which is correct, but of course Steve says that, “in reality it is based on technology issues“. While Steve spends some time to talk about what an “open” environment really means, and rants about how Flash is not open, he also then says that “the operating system for the iPhone, iPod and iPad is proprietary“. So on one hand he calls Flash out for not being open, then rightly states that neither is Apple when it comes to their OS, but also then says that in fact, Apple is the one that has an open system, not Adobe. Make up your mind Steve, do you think Apple is open or closed? The reality is both companies have proprietary systems.
Of all the things that Steve says in his article, he’s flat out wrong when it comes to his description of the “full web” experience and he should be ashamed to try to think he can fool us. Steve says that, “Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. 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.” Steve also says that, “iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.”
This comment by Steve is simply a lie, which is not my opinion, but a fact. Anyone who uses an iPad can’t get video from the websites of NFL.com, MLB.com, Petfinder.org, Amazon.com and many other really popular websites. So to say that users aren’t missing much video and that almost all of this video is also available in H.264, is wrong and you can’t argue with it. I guess Steve does not feel that the NFL and MLB sports leagues command that big of an audience. Use an iPad, go to those sites and see all the video you can’t get. Does Steve think we don’t notice that? Of course, he also goes on to list all of the websites that have video that works on the iPad, but as I pointed out weeks ago, many of those sites only have a limited amount of their video that works. Is that his idea of a “full web” experience, seeing only a portion of the content on a website?
Steve ends his post by saying that, “Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice.” Well I hate to tell you this Steve, but it’s still the PC era. For all the growth of the mobile space in the U.S., how much of that content consumed on a mobile device is video? Very little. No one is getting rid of their PCs because they have a mobile device, the PC is not going anywhere and the volume of content that is delivered to PCs will always surpass what will be delivered to mobile. Apple’s iPhone and iPad’s are not going to replace the PC experience, ever.
If Apple does not want to support Flash, that’s their right. But for
Steve to think we’re all dumb and that he can tell us something works,
when we clearly see it doesn’t, that’s simply an insult to consumers.
And for him to say that this is not about business, but rather a
technology issue, his actions prove otherwise.
Apple knows that a lot of the ads on the web are delivered in Flash.
So Apple clearly wants to divert some of those dollars over to Apple by
having a platform that forces you to take webpages and convert them into
micro apps making it impossible for the content creator to load any
kind of ads. Then you launch your own proprietary mobile ad platform
iAds and you make money by taking a small percentage of every ad
impression on your closed platform. Steve needs to stop trying to make this into
a “technology” issue when this is all about money. If you came out and
said you’re not supporting Flash because you can make more money without
it, fine by me, I won’t argue with that. But to try and disguise it as something else, that only
makes Apple look bad, not Adobe.