The conflict between Apple and Adobe is heating up the point where the duo’s feud over Adobe’s Flash technology is starting to become entertaining. On the one side, we have Apple, who refuses to let any of Adobe’s Flash technology come near their iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad ecosystem. In the other corner, we have Adobe crying foul over Apple’s decision to not only prevent Flash on the iPhone OS, but also to ban iPhone apps that were created by converting Flash applications. That last part seems to have been too much an assault on Flash than Adobe could stand to take. According to sources close to the matter, Adobe is preparing their own assault with a lawsuit against the iPhone maker.
We’ve been watching these two companies butt heads over the inclusion of Flash on the iPhone OS for years. To this day, Apple chief Steve Jobs refuses to let any iPhone OS-powered device work with Adobe’s interactive multimedia technology. That has cost Adobe access to over 50 million iPhone users, 35 million iPod Touch users, and the growing segment of iPad users. That’s been something that Adobe’s been mostly quiet about.
So, what changed? Apple recently updated their iPhone SDK developer agreement to rule out the use of cross-compilers like Adobe’s Flash Packager for iPhone – which basically convert Flash apps into native iPhone apps. The updated language in the iPhone OS 4.0 SDK essentially bans any iPhone apps that started their lives as Flash apps. That apparently isn’t sitting to well with Adobe.
Despite Apple’s affronts to Adobe’s business, the company hasn’t shown too much official outrage. The mood within Adobe, though, seems to be a bit more contentious. There was that Adobe platform evangelist’s “screw yourself, Apple” statement that rolled through the blogosphere recently. Now, reports have Adobe’s legal team going after Apple where it might actually make a difference – in a US court.
It should be interesting to see what happens in the next couple weeks. It’s unlikely that Apple will change their mind about letting converted Flash apps into the iPhone AppStore. It’s also unlikely that Apple will back down from a legal battle. Apple has tons of cash and enough legal firepower to take on just about any company in the world.
Get your popcorn ready!