Steve Jobs recently published a letter, called "Thoughts on Flash" regarding Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) relationship, or lack thereof, with Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE), explaining why Apple doesn't allow Flash on its products.
Steve Jobs first said that Apple and Adobe had initially been in business together, during Adobe's "proverbial garage." According to Jobs, Apple had a 20% interest in the company and they worked "closely" together to pioneer products like desktop publishing. However, when Apple went through its "near death experience," Adobe was drawn towards the corporate market.
After discussing their history, Jobs outlined six reasons why they don't use Adobe's Flash.
First, Jobs said Adobe's products are proprietary and closed, and Apple "strongly believes that all standards pertaining to the web should be open."
Second, Jobs said that while Adobe holds Apple mobile devices cannot access "the full web" because 75% of video on the web is Flash, they don't say it is also available in a more modern format, H. 264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads.
Third, there's "reliability and security and performance" in Apple's platform, citing Symantec's recent study as saying Flash as having one of the worst security records in 2009.
Fourth, regarding battery life, Adobe's decoding eats too much battery life, Jobs says.
Fifth, "there's Touch," which Jobs says Flash was designed for PCs using mice, not for touch screens.
Jobs' concluded with the following statement;
"Flash was created during the PC era - for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards - all areas where Flash falls short."
"The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple's mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 200,000 apps on Apple's App Store proves that Flash isn't necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games."
"New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."