Reports from several technology news sites went abuzz last week with rumors that Adobe was considering suing Apple over its new mobile OS4. The reasoning behind this suit stems from information that the new mobile OS will not support flash nor apps that were made in Flash and then ported into a format that would allow them to run on an iPhone or iPod. The reasoning for this decision on Apple’s part was vague. Apple is pushing HTML5, claiming it to be less resource-demanding on the mobile devices.
This conflict has been building for the past couple years as these two companies have begun growing distant. Adobe has started releasing Microsoft-only versions of certain software, as Apple bundles in similar programs with their OS. The refusal to allow Flash onto the iPhone or iTouch only added fuel to the fire. Apple claims that Flash was too demanding of resources and would drain battery life too quickly. Apple followed by an utter refusal to allow Adobe to try and remedy the issue.
Shots have been fired both by Steve Jobs and several executives at Adobe. Each claim the other at fault for this current situation. There is unlikely to be any sort of remedy in site for this argument. Most news sources say that if any suit was filled, Adobe would ultimately end up losing out.
There is nothing preventing Apple from denying the right to prevent Adobe from having Flash-based apps on their device. The question shouldn’t be one of legal consequence, but ethical consequence. Does Apple have the right to say no to certain things being allowed in their store? Yes, they have that right. However, when they allow nothing but what is in their store to be put on their devices and then take a 30 percent cut of the profit, it begins to look like that dreaded ‘M’ word. Based on that logic, it is perfectly fine for Microsoft to prevent Google, Mozilla or Apple from running their own Internet explores on Microsoft run PCs. They might make the computer more prone to viruses, but it is ultimately the buyer’s choice as to what goes on the computer after they buy it.
Hopefully, Apple and Adobe will work over this rough patch. Their relationship, which was founded in 1980, has been strong and has provided users with great software to make image/program editing and designing so much easier. This recent bump in the road will hopefully be a short one and one that users of products provided by these companies can benefit from. Apple will hopefully lessen its restrictions on the App store, and Adobe will hopefully make a smoother version of Flash that everyone can enjoy.
Cover graphic by Alex Morgan
Story photo from Creative Commons