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Tuesday March 11, 2008 2:20 pm

Why is Apple stalling Flash on the iPhone?

iPhone flashA few weeks ago, we reported that sources revealed to us that Flash on the iPhone was coming soon. At the time, we felt very strongly that the reasons we stated were sound and accurate. Then, a few days ago, Steve Jobs stated that Flash wouldn’t be coming to the because it was “too slow to be useful” and that Flash Lite was “not capable of being used with the web.”

So we started getting comments on our last entry, like this one, saying that we were wrong. The iPhone 1.1.4 release came and went, as did the announcement. Nothing from Apple regarding Flash, until Jobs said it was a no go. So we went back to our source, who was - and still is - 100% convinced that these are just stall tactics.

From what we know from our source, who we believe is reliable, Flash is already running on iPhones internally in Apple’s lab, and has been for a long time. The issue lies in the iPhone’s use of Apple’s own PDF renderer. Adobe would naturally prefer it if Apple would use the Adobe PDF renderer. To be clear, there is certainly enough CPU horsepower on the iPhone to run Flash. If the Chumby - which has half the CPU horsepower - can run Flash8/AS2, then it isn’t a stretch that a more feature-rich version could run on the iPhone.

We also don’t think it’s about control. Apple wants to sell iPhones. Having a device more capable by running more stuff only makes it more attractive - and sells more devices. Why would Apple possibly want for this not to happen? The only reason we can think of right now is AT&T’s fear of apps running through Flash.

It’s stalled for business negotiations reasons right now. Not technical.


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