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Did Apple Kill Adobe’s Video Star?

Submitted by on November 15, 2011 – 11:10 am2 Comments

When software developer Adobe announced last week that they would no longer make their popular Flash video software for mobile devices, many jokingly said that Apple’s Steve Jobs was posthumously responsible for the axe job. But it turns out, the jokes were right.

Adobe’s initial announcement makes the decision seem like a sensible and simple business move: The company wanted to focus on its PC-based browser apps, and updating to the latest HTML5 programming language. Many fans were excited about the prospect of superior streaming video and gaming.

But in a blog post, Adobe Flash programmer Mike Chambers said that a major factor in nixing mobile Flash Player was the fact that it would never have “the ubiquity of the Flash Player on desktops.” He also acknowledged that Apple, which produces the most popular mobile devices on the market, has refused to support Flash in its iOS platform.

Chambers also emphasized Adobe would continue to develop mobile apps under Adobe AIR.

Ironically, Chambers sought to clarify the issue in a lengthy, nuanced post; but once again, the media latched on to a single piece of information, proclaiming that Steve Jobs had killed Flash.

In 2010, Jobs infamously criticized Flash, calling it proprietary, slow to develop, and poorly-performing on mobile devices.

“We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now,” wrote Jobs in an Apple blog post. “We have never seen it.”

The decision is particularly bad news for Android, which advertised its Flash support as a major advantage over the iPhone; and BlackBerry-maker RIM, whose entire product line is struggling, and whose PlayBook tablet also banked heavily on Flash support.

What do you think? Did Apple or other market forces bring down mobile Flash Player? And will Android and BlackBerry survive this?

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