Last we heard in the ongoing spat between Apple and Adobe regarding Flash on the iPhone, His Jobbiness himself weighed in and outlined why the standard was wrong for mobile, to which Adobe sneered and got the ball rolling on an antitrust inquiry. For those of you just tuning in, Adobe and Apple have been duking it out since the new iPhone developer agreement killed off third-party tools, including Creative Suite 5 which would have enabled Flash apps to be compiled for the iPhone.
Opera sided with Apple on the debate, but then again, but that’s easy for them since they, unlike Adobe, actually succeeded in getting into the iPhone’s pants. Now Adobe co-founders Chuck Geshcke and John Warnock have published their own open letter, and begun a campaign highlighting their love for freedom of choice and all development platforms. The tail end of the letter sums up their stance pretty nicely:
When markets are open, anyone with a great idea has a chance to drive innovation and find new customers. Adobe’s business philosophy is based on a premise that, in an open market, the best products will win in the end — and the best way to compete is to create the best technology and innovate faster than your competitors. …
We believe that Apple, by taking the opposite approach, has taken a step that could undermine this next chapter of the web — the chapter in which mobile devices outnumber computers, any individual can be a publisher, and content is accessed anywhere and at any time.
In the end, we believe the question is really this: Who controls the World Wide Web? And we believe the answer is: nobody — and everybody, but certainly not a single company.
It’s a little more soft-spoken than “go screw yourself Apple“, but still has a bit of zing by implying Apple isn’t innovative. One of the interesting parts about Adobe’s freedom of choice page is that they make a point to fight the idea that Flash is diametrically opposed to HTML5 and H.264, technologies which Apple will be relying on for their mobile products. Drilling further down, Adobe chews through some of Steve Jobs’ points regarding Flash’s performance and ubiquity on the internet. While I’m not entirely brushed up on my hardcore video encoding facts, and couldn’t really comment on the future Flash video online, Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Palm are all a part of the Open Screen Project, with Google really leading the charge; if these guys will all have Flash support in a year’s time, and iPhone won’t, then it’s one more leg-up the competition will have on Apple.