Adobe Gives Up Trying to Port Flash to iPhone, War of Words Continues

Paul Lilly

Following Apple's change to the terms of its iPhone 4.0 software developer kit license, which would effectively block Adobe from porting native Flash support to the iPhone and iPad, Adobe has come out and said it's throwing in the towel , but not without a few parting words.

"As developers for the iPhone have learned, if you want to develop for the iPhone you have to be prepared for Apple to reject or restrict your development at any time, and for seemingly any reason," said Mike Chambers , Adobe's principal product manger for the Flash platform. "The primary goal of Flash has always been to enable cross browser, platform and device development. The cool Web game that you build can easily be targeted and deployed to multiple platforms and devices. However, this is the exact opposite of what Apple wants. They want to tie developers down to their platform, and restrict their options to make it difficult for developers to target other platforms."

Those remarks didn't sit well with Apple, who issued a response through company spokeswoman Trudy Muller.

"Someone has it backwards -- it is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe's Flash is closed and proprietary," Muller said.

So where does Adobe go from here? Over to Google, for one. Chambers was quick to point out that "the iPhone isn't the only game in town" and said Adobe is working closely with Google to port both Flash Player 10.1 and Adobe AIR 2.0 to Android-based devices, including smartphones and tablets.

There's also been talk that Adobe may take its beef with Apple to court. In a regulatory filing, Adobe said its business could be harmed if the iPhone and iPad don't support its technology, and some analysts believe Adobe may have a legal leg to stand on.

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