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In a rare open letter posted to Apple’s website Thursday, CEO Steve Jobs doesn’t mince words about the company’s stance on Adobe Flash.
Titled simply “Thoughts on Flash,” the extremely detailed missive penned by Apple CEO Steve Jobs attempts to silence critics who have been vocal about the company’s lack of Flash support on the iPhone, iPod touch and now iPad, while educating consumers on the reality of the situation.
The second argument is Adobe’s claims that Apple’s mobile devices “cannot access ‘the full web’ because 75 percent of video on the web is in Flash” -- proceeding to take Adobe to task for not also pointing out “almost all” of the same video they’re referring to is also available in the more modern H.264 format. Jobs is also not shy about confessing that while it’s true Apple devices can’t play Flash games, there are “over 50,000 games and entertainment titles on the App Store.” (Ouch.)
Reliability, security and performance are cited as the third argument, with Jobs noting that Symantec recently highlight Flash “for having one of the worst security records in 2009.” He then notes that “Flash has not performed well on mobile devices” before launching into argument number four: Battery life.
Interestingly, Jobs’ fifth argument has to do with touch, and how Flash was never designed to work with touchscreens and fingers but rather PCs using mice. It’s an interesting point that we haven’t heard argued previously.
Jobs uses his sixth and final argument to address the recent controversial change in the iPhone SDK which prohibit Adobe’s Flash-to-iPhone compiled apps from being used on the device. “We know from painful experience that letting a third party layer of software come between the platform and the developer ultimately results in sub-standard apps and hinders the enhancement and progress of the platform,” Jobs writes.
The outspoken Apple CEO saves the best for last: “Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HMTL5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.” At least he had the heart to open the letter by remembering the good old days when Apple and Adobe were bosom pals…