Monday, April 12, 2010
Louis Gerbarg on Apple’s change in the iPhone OS developer agreement that prohibits apps written in third-party development environments, including Adobe’s Flash CS5 which includes an iPhone cross-compiler:
It is easy to blame all this on Apple, and you will find no end of blogs screaming about their monopolistic power-hungry tendencies. I certainly agree that Apple should probably be more open, and that they are the party with the power to resolve this. If people want to complain about that, you will not hear me defending Apple. The developers using Flash, Unity3D, and MonoTouch have my sympathy, and I understand their anger with Apple. The Adobe evangelists writing screeds get none though.
The reason is that I think Adobe holds much more of the blame. Adobe is a large company with a significant, and complicated, relationship with Apple. They have frequent high level contacts and meetings. Adobe has known for quite some time about Apple’s desire not to have Flash on the iPhone. There is no doubt in my mind that if they asked Apple to bless this they were rebuffed, and if they didn’t ask the only reason they didn’t was because they knew Apple would say no. In either event, they announced the product to their customers and sold them on an idea they were not in a position to deliver, hoping Apple would be unwilling to piss off developers by not fulfilling Adobe’s promises. They tried to force Apple’s hand by putting Apple in a position where in order stop the Flash they would have to do it publicly in front of Adobe’s users. That was a bad call on Adobe’s part.