Steve Jobs, in his recent
enlightened rant regarding Flash said that as a result of barring Flash from all of their mobile devices the following would occur, “Everyone wins – we sell more devices because we have the best apps, developers reach a wider and wider audience and customer base, and users are continually delighted by the best and broadest selection of apps on any platform.”
Let me pull apart that sentence, and impart what Steve actually meant. Which is, “we (Apple) sell more devices”.
Surely the best apps in the world are created by developers that have been plying their trade for more than 10 years now. Why on Earth would you choose to isolate them from the development process if you were truly after the best applications.
Surely reaching the widest audience, actually involves reaching the widest audience – not some bizarro subset that Steve Jobs deems appropriate (users are smart enough to make their own decisions about what technology they should and shouldn’t use – making the choice for them is denigrating and anti-competitive). Apple will likely get what’s coming to them in a form of a law suit and a lot of bad press.
And surely users would be delighted to choose from millions of applications from the best and brightest creative minds on the planet, rather than only being able to choose applications built by developers suckling at the teet of Apple and it’s proprietary Mac hardware and software.
So be under no illusions folks, the only potential benefactor from Steve Jobs’ lunacy on this matter is Apple. Plain and simple.
And I for one will be having no bar of it.
As developers of the applications, we have the power to steer our own destiny. Sure Adobe need to pull there finger out on a few of the points Jobs has made in his post (reliability, security, performance, touch) but as far as I can tell the latest version of the player will attempt to address these issues. And boy oh boy if it does, Apple can kiss good bye to any lead it enjoys on the Apps store front and the i/phone/touch/pad front – ‘cos the Google Android express (which is truly an open platform) is coming through. The guile of the man to even hint at one of the issues with Flash being it’s proprietary nature, when everything that Apple does is controlled with an iron fist is (and I’m definitely not the first to use this phrase in regards to his post) the pot calling the kettle black. I’ve never really understood what that old saying actually means, so perhaps I’ll just say that they’re being pretty blood hypocritical and leave it at that.
So when Adobe team up with the other platforms (Google, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, et al), and forge ahead with a truly cross platform Flash player – Apple will be left wondering how it can have screwed the pooch so badly… for the second time in it’s history. The sooner this happens the better for me – the Apple’s been bad for a while now.
(Update: here’s a great video that has Adobe’s CEO Shantanu Narayen rather elegantly sticking to the company line, at the same time making Jobs look like he’s thrown all of his toys out of the pram).