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This just in -- Steve Jobs HATES Flash. He expressed his dislike of the platform in a reply to an frustrated Apple developer.  (Source: Business Insider)
Jobs is drinking more Flash hatorade

The Tao Effect, an Apple-focused software company maintains a blog where they banter about programming and chime in about issues effecting Apple developers.  On Friday the site's Greg Slepak wrote a post blasting Apple's new policy (in the iPhone SDK 3.3.1 terms) that iPhone apps can only be developed in C, C++, or Objective-C, essentially disallowing direct (linker-based) ports of Flash apps to the iPhone.

Along with the post, Greg took the unusual move of emailing Apple CEO Steve Jobs  Jobs occasionally responds personally to Apple customers or the media, but it seemed unlikely that anything would come of it.  

Surprisingly, Jobs quickly replied, pointing Slepnak to a post by the
Daring Fireball's John Gruber, which offered to justification for the move.  Writes Jobs:

We think John Gruber’s post is very insightful and not negative:

http://daringfireball.net/2010/04/why_apple_changed_section_331" rel="nofollow

Steve

Slepnak was shocked to receive a response, but quickly replied:

Sorry. I didn’t catch that post, but I finished it just now.

I still think it undermines Apple. You didn’t need this clause to get to where you are now with the iPhone’s market share, adding it just makes people lose respect for you and run for the hills, as a commenter to that article stated:

"So what Apple does not want is for some other company to establish a de facto standard software platform on top of Cocoa Touch. Not Adobe’s Flash. Not .NET (through MonoTouch). If that were to happen, there’s no lock-in advantage.”

And that makes Apple evil. At least, it does in the sense that Google uses the term in “don’t be evil” – I believe pg translated “evil” as something along the lines of “trying to compete by means other than making the best product and marketing it honestly."

From a developer’s point of view, you’re limiting creativity itself. Gruber is wrong, there are plenty of [applications] written using cross-platform frameworks that are amazing, that he himself has praised. Mozilla’s Firefox just being one of them.

I don’t think Apple has much to gain with 3.3.1, quite the opposite actually.

Amazingly, Jobs responded yet a second time (within 3 minutes), stating:

We’ve been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform.

So there you have it -- an official response from Apple's CEO himself on why Apple is disallowing Flash and other third-party intermediaries.  Ultimately, the response is pretty predictable, given Jobs' past rants about Flash being "buggy" and crashing Mac computers and vowing it would never touch the iPhone (or iPad). 

Furthermore, Slepnak was referring to Adobe's software that would directly port Flash Apps to a binary using iPhone API calls (with no Flash involved in the final product).  That makes it almost seem like Jobs is claiming the Flash development tools themselves (not just the implementation) somehow inherently yield inferiors apps. 

An Adobe employee has already responded to Apple, in an unofficial statement, telling Apple to "Go screw” itself.



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RE: we've been there before?
By jhb116 on 4/12/2010 7:52:32 PM , Rating: 3
And yet no talk of anti-trust. No this is one that the EU could definitely provide justification for and would likely help consumers in the long run.

On the other hand - I'm not a big flash fan either - adobe products seem to be very buggy for many years. It seems they both need a swift kick in the rear.


RE: we've been there before?
By mcnabney on 4/13/2010 10:29:37 AM , Rating: 2
Is anyone else besides me surprised that Adobe hasn't cut Apple off?

CS5 doesn't have to be released for the Mac...


RE: we've been there before?
By flatrock on 4/13/2010 5:34:56 PM , Rating: 2
I hardly think Apple has a monopoly in the smart phone market. Anti-trust forbids abusing monopoly power. Locking down a platform and not playing nice with developers or competitors isn't illegal in the absense of monopoly power. It's actually a depressingly common business practice.

In the absense of a monopoly it is up to the consumers to choose a product over competing products, and thanks to solid engineering and great marketing people keep choosing Apple's products despite their extremely restrictive business model.

As long as consumers have choices, it's not the government's place to prevent them from making foolish ones.


RE: we've been there before?
By Lerianis on 4/13/2010 8:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, in most places that are sane (that excludes America, however) using your power in business to keep another competitor out the business is illegal even if you don't have a monopoly.


RE: we've been there before?
By afkrotch on 4/14/2010 12:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly anywhere. You can easily use Linux, Unix, etc. Yet they sure seem to get sued a lot. Explain.


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