Blogger insists Adobe will sue Apple over CS4 iPhone app tools

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
A security blogger cited unnamed sources to claim that Adobe has plans in place to sue Apple over its decision to block the use of Flash Professional to create iPhone apps.



The blogger, known as "sjvn," writes for ITWorld, part of the IDG Network. He predicted the issue will "blow up in Apple's face," and cited "sources close to Adobe" as saying that Adobe "will be suing Apple within a few weeks."



After reviewing the recent details of conflict between Apple and Adobe over support Flash on the iPhone and in creating iPhone apps, "sjvn" concluded, "unless things change drastically between Apple and Adobe in the next few weeks, from what I'm hearing you can expect to see Adobe taking Apple to court over the issue. It's not going to be pretty."



It's not clear what exactly Adobe would be suing Apple over. Apple has apparently never contracted in bad faith with Adobe to co-deliver Flash on the iPhone, nor did the company approve or endorse or in any way guarantee that Adobe's efforts to skirt the existing restrictions in the iPhone SDK would result in commercial success.



Apple on Flash: not good enough



Instead, Apple has maintained a clear, unchanging position since the iPhone first appeared that Adobe's desktop Flash platform was not suited for use on mobiles, while its Flash Lite platform failed to support the kind of Flash content users would expect of it.



Adobe did not deliver a mobile version of Flash Player until version 10.0 for Android last summer, but that version still didn't play most of the content users would encounter on the web.



Only the latest 10.1 Flash Player, which is still under development, can play most desktop Flash content on mobiles. However, it requires a Cortex A8-class processor, meaning that even if Apple wanted to bundle it, it could only work on the latest iPhone 3GS.



Adobe's mobile Flash Player 10.1 is targeted at Palm's webOS and Google's Android, with a version planned for Microsoft's upcoming Windows Phone 7 and eventually RIM's BlackBerry OS. On any platform, it can only run on the latest phones sold over the past several months.



Apple has been selling the iPhone for three years now, and has never even had the option to bundle a version of Flash until just recently. It would be hard to imagine how Adobe could claim any legal right to demand that Apple support its monopoly position in desktop dynamic web content playback.



Apple's progressive iPhone platform



Adobe's alternative strategy, which brainstormed the concept of using Flash Professional to create native iPhone apps as a way for Flash developers to port their existing content to the App Store, was similarly never something Apple said it would support. Instead, while Adobe worked on adding support to its Flash development tools to create apps that could run on iPhone 3.0 devices, Apple was busy working to finish iPhone 4.0, which is expected to ship in roughly two months.



At that point, Apple will want to rapidly shift its developers from iPhone 3.0 to iPhone 4.0-savvy apps within iTunes, just as it worked to quickly transition iPhone App Store titles to iPhone 3.0 last year.



However, if a significant number of App Store titles are built using third party tools (such as Flash Professional) that do not support the new iPhone 4.0 APIs, including features such as multitasking and new enterprise APIs, Apple's ability to quickly shift users to the new OS and its capacity to push developers to support its new features will be severely impaired.



This all happened before



Apple ran into similar problems back in the early 90s, when all the application developers that had started their businesses on the Macintosh began seeking lowest common denominator ways to sell their apps to both Mac users and Windows PC users. This resulted in developers largely ignoring all the new features Apple developed for the Mac OS, including QuickDraw GX and PowerTalk.



Rather than developing apps for the Mac, developers such as Microsoft and Adobe began creating their own internal platforms that then tacked a Mac-native front end onto their new general purpose code. The result was that Apple suddenly became powerless to push its third party Mac developers to support the platform's unique features, resulting in increasingly less differentiation between the Mac and Windows PCs.



Ten years later, Apple similarly had a difficult time trying to convince its third party developers to natively support its new Mac OS X operating system. Adobe refused to bring many of its Mac apps to the new Carbon environment Apple created expressly to facilitate easy porting to Mac OS X; among the list of apps that never made the transition were FrameMaker and Premiere. Adobe didn't even bring Photoshop to Mac OS X as a native app until 2005.



Similarly, while Adobe joined Apple on stage in announcing the migration of the Mac to Intel in 2005, Adobe didn't release a Universal Binary version of its core apps until early 2007. The company never updated its existing Creative Suite 2 apps, nor the Studio 8 suite it had acquired from Macromedia.



In the future, Apple doesn't want to be forced to wait a few years for Adobe to get up to speed on its development plans. For the iPhone OS, Apple has established a rapid development cycle that demands that its app developers stay current with the latest firmware. They can't do that if they're tied to a third party development platform like Flash Professional, which is likely to lag Apple's own Xcode tools by months or even a year or more.



That being the case, it's hard to fathom how Adobe could invent a legal claim to force Apple to do anything to support its efforts to produce iPhone apps using alternative development tools.



Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly explained the situation to a user by writing, "we've been there before, and intermediate layers between the platform and the developer ultimately produces sub-standard apps and hinders the progress of the platform."
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Comments

  • kylegeekkylegeek Posts: 1member
    Its CS5 that has the flash to iphone
  • iansilviansilv Posts: 283member
    Yeah- I'm sure SJVM- I'm sure it won't be pretty. I'm sure it will blow up in Apple's face. I'm sure this will be the most monumental, awesomely huge legal argument Adobe will be able to put forward!



    Or wait- hmmm... no anti trust arguments, no contractual arguments, Apple maintains the closed ecosystem.... Sounds like Adobe is just bitching, thinking that this will turn in to some sort of PR spectacle that will hurt Apple.



    I couldn't care less about Adobe. they do write crap software- acrobat always trying to update itself every 15 minutes, crashing, flash sucks.



    sorry bud- sounds like Adobe is in its death throes.



    Good riddance I say.



    Sound's like Adobe is looking for summary judgement on a poorly conceived lawsuit.



    i hope nothing changes- I like Apple's stance. i want to see Adobe actually try and sue Apple.
  • 8corewhore8corewhore Posts: 833member
    Good luck Adobe fighting Apple and their 40 billon dollar cash reserves.
  • patranuspatranus Posts: 366member
    Think of things this way....



    If Apple allowed this Adobe product those "apps" would still be sold through the App Store and Apple would still get their cut.



    So the issue can't be about Apples revenue.....
  • angloanglo Posts: 2member
    sjvn?



    There's a fairly prolific, well-known and fairly well connected IT Journalist with those initials.



    Steven J Vaughan-Nicholls.




    What are the chances of that coincidence, do you think? :P



    Anglo.
  • replicantreplicant Posts: 121member
    Great ! On what grounds though? Adobe must be really desperate...
  • aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,522member
    Developers who have made flash apps for 3.0 can't sue apple because of their T&Cs, I imagine. I don't see how Adobe is effectively able to sue on their behalf, but that is about as close to a legal argument they have left.
  • angloanglo Posts: 2member
    Ahh, just noticed the photo, that IS Steven J Vaughan Nicholls, if it was just a random blogger I would have dismissed it as hyperbole and nothing more, however Steven is fairly well connected, and has enough history in the business to take seriously, interesting!



    I still think Adobe have no grounds, maybe they are thinking "Tortious Interference" or similar, will be one to get the popcorn for, I predict Adobes failure in this endeavour though.
  • blursdblursd Posts: 123member
    This should be entertaining ... I can see the opening argument now. "Your honor we demand compensation for imagined damages because the defendant is a no good poo-poo head, and hasn't been nice to us."



    Heres an idea ... why doesn't Adobe spend their time and energy fixing their product so it doesn't need to be eschewed. Just an idea ...
  • stehseglerstehsegler Posts: 13member
    hm... perhaps someone should sue Adobe for price gouging it's international customers. As they say don't throw with rocks if you are sitting in a glass house.
  • ltcommander.dataltcommander.data Posts: 327member
    Regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit, I think it will be useful to have the courts clarify what amount and what type of control a company should have over a popular platform they create. We've had very open platforms like computers and very controlled platforms like consoles, iPods and other embedded devices. The iPhone appears to be somewhere in between. Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones, but they are definitely a major player so what they do does have a major effect on the market and a significant number of consumers. Are there concerns about Apple being able to pick and choose what and how a developer reaches the user? I think these are interesting questions to be settled more explicitly in court even if I don't know the best answer.
  • bowserbowser Posts: 89member
    ...if they think something like this is really going to make Apple let Flash on the iPhone.



    I suppose they're doing it to simply try and bully Apple into it, but if that's their logic, they need to brush up on their history... if SJ feels he (Apple) has been wronged by a company, he doesn't get mad (well, he does), he gets even.



    This will only make SJ and Apple that much more opposed to Flash and work that much harder to give it the death it so richly deserves.



    I'd love to see Adobe waste a ton of money on this and then get bought by Apple. I'd love to see the looks on the faces of Adobe's corp-execs when SJ gives them the axe...



    It would also be sweet justice to see all the Windows versions killed off so that only Macs would have it.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by iansilv View Post


    Yeah- I'm sure SJVM- I'm sure it won't be pretty. I'm sure it will blow up in Apple's face. I'm sure this will be the most monumental, awesomely huge legal argument Adobe will be able to put forward!



    Or wait- hmmm... no anti trust arguments, no contractual arguments, Apple maintains the closed ecosystem.... Sounds like Adobe is just bitching, thinking that this will turn in to some sort of PR spectacle that will hurt Apple.





    I'd love to know something from anyone that has seen the pre 4.0 SDK. does it say what languages apps are to be written in. and does it say anything that allows these container apps that apparently are what Adobe's convertor is making.



    if these things were covered pre 4.0 then Adobe knew they were taking a chance with this new feature.
  • g3prog3pro Posts: 669member
    "We've been there before." Indeed. WIth Microsoft. 20 years ago.
  • battiato1981battiato1981 Posts: 206member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    Regardless of the outcome of a lawsuit, I think it will be useful to have the courts clarify what amount and what type of control a company should have over a popular platform they create. .



    I think that is a flat out daft terrible idea.



    Unless and until one company wields monopoly power over the smart phone market (I don't even foresee that as happening, ever), the courts have absolutely no business in such a debate. That is what markets are for and consumers will decide this with their wallets. Besides, King Solomon has bigger fish to fry.
  • doyourownthingdoyourownthing Posts: 371member
    just let them sue apple...they're just joining the trend with nokia and kodak...nothing to worry about...
  • blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,218member
    I would like to suggest that apple insider (and macrumors and macsurfer etc) consider moving these lawsuit stories off the main page and onto a lawsuit-specific page for people who are interested in such things. I'm not saying that I have no interest, but I do have a very limited interest in this stuff. I'd much rather see front page stories that are more technology or product focused.



    Let me put it this way -- if we are going to have front page stories on lawsuits, then in the interest of consistency we should also have stories on trash removal at apple's Cupertino campus. I mean inquiring minds want to know -- is apple using Waste Management or a local mom and pop operation? And does Steve ever hurt the feelings of the trash truck driver? Surely there must be a blogger covering this who could be quoted...
  • jcatma61jcatma61 Posts: 37member
    Let Adobe sue. Flash is the new QuickDraw GX.



    If Adobe had, I dunno, more than 10 people in the U.S. writing code for them, I might give a fackool.
  • charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,069member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stehsegler View Post


    hm... perhaps someone should sue Adobe for price gouging it's international customers. As they say don't throw with rocks if you are sitting in a glass house.



    it's not just international ones. A lot of folks here in the US feel like they are overpricing period. their programs are great but are they $700 for the upgrade great. they have cornered the market so they get the money but is it fair.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ltcommander.data View Post


    Apple doesn't have a monopoly on smartphones, but they are definitely a major player so what they do does have a major effect on the market and a significant number of consumers.



    Monopolies and tying are not inherently abusive under US law. So a company can do as they please. Until they abuse a high power level. There are so many cell phones and even smart phones on the market that even the highest selling phone is still only like 5-7% of the market max.



    Same gig for game consoles, PMPs, and even computers. That distinction is why Psystar had no grounds to claim anti-trust when Apple told them they legally could not make clones and to cut it out.



    Now when the iphone is more like 50% of the market, we will have a different game going on. Perhaps then you might be onto something
  • ltmpltmp Posts: 204member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Anglo View Post


    sjvn?



    There's a fairly prolific, well-known and fairly well connected IT Journalist with those initials.



    Steven J Vaughan-Nicholls.




    What are the chances of that coincidence, do you think? :P



    Anglo.



    Yes, that's him. We got that after you posted it the first time.
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