Why Steve Jobs Never Allowed Flash On The iPhone

Why Steve Jobs Never Allowed Flash On The iPhone
Image taken by Sheeraz Raza for ValueWalk

Apple and Adobe have not been on good terms for a long time. The root cause for the dispute was Apple’s refusal to support Flash on the iPhone. Adobe accused the iPhone maker of engaging in anti-competitive behavior, while Apple said there was a number of performance and security issues with Flash, according to BGR.

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No Flash on iPhone

The sour relationship between the two peaked in 2010, when then-Apple CEO Steve Jobs widely circulated a screed detailing why none of Apple’s mobile products, the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad, supported Flash. The screed entitled Thoughts on Flash ran nearly 1,700 words.

Flash was believed to be a very relevant piece of software technology at that time, but Jobs thoroughly explained Apple’s rationale for completely ignoring it. There were too many Flash-related problems on Android, and for this reason, it was commonly accepted that Apple was being shrewd when it decided to avoid Flash, says BGR.

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Apple’s former software development manager, Bob Burrough, made a series of tweets revealing that in 2008, the company actually tested Flash on the iPhone. Burrough stated that the reason behind Jobs not agreeing to support the technology was primarily because he believed that Adobe, as a partner, could not be relied upon to address security issues, notes BGR.

Burrough’s series of tweets does give a hint into Job’s mindset at the time. Also Jobs was angry with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, who did not take his phone calls, reveals Burrough. This led to faith issues as Jobs started to believe that Adobe would not be able to address the issues he categorized as “mere engineering problems,” notes BGR.

Microsoft takes a jab at Apple

Tech rivalries have stretched back decades and continue today. Microsoft took a very public swing at rival Apple and the new MacBook Pro, in a recent Surface-themed blog post. In a post, Brian Hall, CVP of Microsoft Devices Marketing, touted the “many wonderful things happening across the board for Surface,” with ultra-confident declarations of it being “the best” and “industry-leading.”

Though these claims do not have much to back them, there are vague references to sales numbers, but with the actual number of units shipped or sold being kept a secret. The post takes a much more competitive turn thereafter, citing Microsoft’s trade-in credit program for Apple devices.

“More people are switching from Macs to Surface than ever before,” Hall writes.

Hall even called the new MacBook Pro a “disappointment.”

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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