Ongoing Feud with Adobe May Spell End to Apple’s Good Fortune

by Matt Klassen on June 1, 2010

While this may come as little surprise, it turns out that most people are tired of hearing about the ongoing feud between Adobe and Apple over the former’s controversial Flash software. The tech world has heard, ad nauseam, about Apple’s complaints that Flash is outdated, unstable, and insecure, and we’ve heard Adobe’s childlike rebuttal that Apple is…well, a bully.

But it now looks like major American businesses are getting tired of the feud as well, and they’re not about to bend over backwards for Apple anymore. In a report issued late last week it turns out that Time Warner and Universal, both major entertainment production companies, have made it clear that they won’t be committing any resources to making their heretofore Flash-only video content compatible with the iPad or any other Apple product. With the increasing frequency of companies taking bold stands against Apple and its draconian control over the market, could this spell the end of Apple’s good fortune?

In a separate report, it turns out that while Apple’s support is shrinking, Adobe’s support is actively on the rise. Both Nokia and Opera Software, creator of a very successful mobile browser, have both stated their unequivocal support for Adobe and its Flash software.

Despite the fact that Adobe is experiencing a rejuvenated sense of support from the tech world at large, I have to question the motivations of these companies. Evidenced by the Time Warner/Universal reaction to Apple, and the entertainment giants refusal to change their online tech to pander to the iPad, it seems that people are supporting Adobe’s Flash not out of love and appreciation for the software itself, but out of a clear sense of laziness and desire to uphold the status quo, which means fortunately for Adobe, Flash is, for now at least, the default choice.

Nevertheless, could both these stories be clear evidence of the end of Apple’s good fortunes? Consider that in addition to increased moral support for Adobe and the stubbornness (or laziness) of Time Warner and Universal, there is a growing discontent across the tech community against Apple and its restrictive policies.

That, coupled with the meteoric growth of the Android OS, an operating system that does, in fact, allow users to access Flash content, and the fact that Apple is being sued from every corner of the globe and is even subject to an antitrust investigation by the Department of Justice, means that there may in fact be some darker skies on Apple’s horizon.

But before we start considering a moratorium on Apple products, I have a feeling that none of these companies will be singing the praises of Adobe or Flash if it ceases to be profitable for them to do so. With the fact that the iPad is quickly becoming an international sensation—now boasting over 2 million units sold worldwide—your head will spin at the speed with which these companies return to Apple when they realize that there’s money to be made. Adobe just better pray that they don’t realize that any time soon.

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Apple Changes Developer Agreement Again: AdMob Feels Adobe’s Pain —
August 13, 2012 at 8:47 am


sartre June 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm

It is not about “status quo” as you state, it is more about who controls the content. These companies do not want to hand over the reins of content delivery to apple in any way (whether it is by using apple approved format or hosting content on apple’s cloud). Given Apple’s history of monopolistic tendencies, it is quite understandable.

Matt Klassen June 1, 2010 at 5:25 pm

That may be the case, but I think we’ll see the true motivations of these companies once they start losing money by sticking with Flash. Once they realize the money they could be making with the meteoric rise of the iPad oversees, I think they’ll change their tune with remarkable speed. But don’t get me wrong, I think you’re exactly right when you talk about Apple’s “monopolistic tendencies,” I just that most companies will overlook those tendencies when there’s money to be made.

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