Steve Jobs: Adobe raised stink over Flash first
'Flash has had its day,' Apple CEO says
Computerworld - Apple CEO Steve Jobs said Tuesday that his company didn't begin the long-running feud with Adobe over Flash, but only reacted after its rival "started to raise a stink."
In an interview Tuesday night at the D8 Conference, Jobs told Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg that Apple didn't cast the first stone.
"We didn't start off to have a war with Flash, or anything else. We just made a technical decision that we weren't gonna put the energy into getting Flash on our platform," said Jobs. "We told Adobe, if you ever have this thing running fast, let us know, which they never did."
Apple decided to ban Flash from its iPhone before it introduced the first-generation smartphone in 2007, Jobs added, and told Adobe as much. Only later, claimed Jobs, did Adobe come out swinging.
"It wasn't until we shipped the iPad and it didn't use Flash that Adobe started to raise a stink about it," Jobs said. "That's why I wrote 'Thoughts on Flash,' We were trying to be real professional about this and not talk to the press. We didn't think it was a matter for the press. [But] we finally said enough is enough. We're tired of these guys trashing us in the press over this."
Jobs' hammered Flash in his April 29 missive, in which he cited several reasons for banning Adobe's popular technology, ranging from poor performance to security issues.
In the same letter, Jobs stuck to Apple's decision to also bar iPhone and iPad software created with cross-platform compilers, another point where Adobe and Apple are at odds.
Adobe's Flash Professional CS5 includes a cross-platform compiler that lets Flash developers easily create native iPhone and iPad applications, something that Apple refuses to allow. According to reports, that part of the companies' feud has attracted interest from antitrust regulators at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
Yesterday, Jobs said that consumers would ultimately decide whether Apple's Flash ban was the right decision.
"Sometimes you just have to pick the things that look like they're going to be the right horses to ride going forward," said Jobs, citing Apple's decision to dump the floppy drive from its original iMac in mid-1998 as an example. "Sometimes people call us crazy."
But he defended Apple's choice of technology horses.
"Flash looks like a technology that has had its day, but is waning," Jobs said, "and HTML5 looks like the technology that is really on the ascendency right now."
Apple has aggressively pushed HTML5 -- the next-generation of the underlying language used to create Web sites -- and its support for embedded video as the right substitute for Flash. But there, too, Apple faces resistance. Two weeks ago, Google debuted a new royalty-free video codec that will compete in HTML5 with the H.264 codec that Apple's backing.
Jobs didn't sound worried that any of these conflicts would upset the Apple cart. "It will all work itself out," he said, talking about consumers and how their choices, not Apple's decisions or Adobe's or Google's, make a product a success or failure. "[And] people seem to be liking the iPad."
On Monday, Apple announced it had sold 2 million iPads since the tablet went on sale in the U.S. March 12.
"We've said everything there is to say on Apple's criticisms of Flash," said Jodi Sorensen, an Adobe spokeswoman, when asked for comment on Jobs' claims.
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed . His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- Mac Pro shortage sets record as worst Mac production debacle
- Apple slates WWDC for June 2-6, sets up ticket lottery
- Apple patches Safari's Pwn2Own vulnerability, two-dozen other critical bugs
- Microsoft's free OneNote vaults to top of Mac App Store chart
- Apple discounts iPhone 5C 8%-9% in five markets via storage cuts
- Apple hands stock worth $12.1M to top execs in retention deal
- Hands on: Apple's Mac Pro is the fastest Mac ever
- Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53M stock award
- Apple's CarPlay to spark mobile apps war in your car
- Apple retires Snow Leopard from support, leaves 1 in 5 Macs vulnerable to attacks
Read more about Mac OS X in Computerworld's Mac OS X Topic Center.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- How WAN Optimization Helps Enterprises Reduce Costs If you wanted to break down innovation into a tidy equation, it might go something like this: Technology + Connectivity = Productivity. Productivity...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Mac OS X White Papers | Webcasts