If Not Flash on iPhone, Then What?
"One thing you have to say about Apple is that they are trailblazers when it comes to graphics -- they always have been," said Laura DiDio, an analyst with Yankee Group. However, whether Apple would be willing to embrace Microsoft technology toward that end is highly debatable.
Adobe's Flash Player doesn't have what it takes to be part of the iPhone, Apple CEO Steve Jobs reportedly told shareholders at a meeting on Tuesday.
The comments came just two days before Apple's much-anticipated unveiling of its iPhone software development kit, which is expected on Thursday and widely believed to include technologies that would bring Flash to the popular mobile devices.
The iPhone needs something better than Adobe's Flash Lite for cell phones, Jobs said, yet better optimized to run faster on mobile technology than the PC Flash Player for larger devices, Dow Jones reported.
Apple could not be reached for comment.
1 Billion by 2010
Adobe, for its part, responded only with a general defense of its market status.
"Flash and Flash Lite are a huge success," Stefan C. Offermann, a spokesperson for Adobe, told MacNewsWorld.
There are more than 450 million Flash-enabled mobile devices shipped worldwide and 150 percent growth year-over-year, Offermann said. The company expects to see 1 billion Flash-enabled devices by 2010.
"Consumers demand a rich Web experience on any device and platform, and Flash delivers just that," he added. "We look forward to our continued relationship with industry leaders to deliver engaging experiences to consumers worldwide."
Nevertheless, Jobs' comments have opened up a fresh wave of speculation, including the possibility that Apple is developing its own Flash alternative or that Microsoft's competing Silverlight product may be the winning contender.
News recently emerged, for example, that NBC has chosen to use Silverlight in its broadcasting of the Olympics in Beijing.
"One thing you have to say about Apple is that they are trailblazers when it comes to graphics -- they always have been," Laura DiDio, an analyst with Yankee Group, told MacNewsWorld.
Whether Apple would be willing to embrace Microsoft technology toward that end is highly debatable, DiDio said.
Setting the Standard
"Apple and Microsoft's relationship has been 'intriguing,' let's say, over the past 20 years, and I tend to think that Jobs won't go there unless he has to -- he'd have to have his back up against a wall, and the days where that has happened ended eight or nine years ago," she explained. "My speculation is that he's probably going to do both -- support Flash because of Adobe's place in the market, but also work on a better mousetrap."
Apple is doing "very, very well" in the market, and has demonstrated that it has a remarkable ability to reinvent and rejuvenate itself, DiDio noted.
"I would think Jobs has definitely got those engineers burning the midnight oil to come up with something better, and that's not casting aspersions on Adobe Flash, which is a very good product," DiDio concluded. "The issue is, he wants to outpace the market. Apple wants to set the standard, not follow it."