European Union joins FTC investigation into Apple's opposition of Flash

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  • Reply 81 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post


    ... the investigation is ONLY about Apple banning software such as Flash from converting code to iPhone language-friendly apps. Even I see a problem with that. This doesn't hurt just Adobe. It hurts anyone out there that might have been trying to create a business around app portability between various app storefronts. And that in turn hurts app developers with limited resources attempting to port their apps to broader markets. This is where I see the harm. If the app code is written in Apple's accepted languages, it should be allowed regardless of being ported from another language. If the app is buggy or harmful, reject it as any other natively written app.



    I believe this is the only plausible judgment the FTC or EU could enforce. The iPhone AppStore is the leading storefront with the most apps available and the most apps sold, making it a market leader. Therefore opening up the AppStore to portable apps invigorates competition between storefronts and, through that, devices themselves.



    The thing wrong with your analysis though, is that Apple actually does already allow any app into the store written in their accepted languages regardless of origin. The Flash product being argued over doesn't actually produce Objective C code at the end of the day, at least not for the whole app. If it did, then the developers of such apps could just open the code in XCode and upload it and no one would be the wiser.



    Also, even if what you say is true, it's a dangerous precedent for any government body to be telling a private company or individual what they can and cannot allow with their own products. This is the same thing as the government mandating that you use a certain kind of gas in your car, or forcing you to allow someone who doesn't like the colour of your house to paint the side facing them another colour.



    Yes, Apple's decisions in this regard put a total damper on developers wanting to engage in cross-platform solutions, but no, there isn't anything wrong or illegal about that. It's just the way it is.
  • Reply 82 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post


    While I agree that these investigations are absurd, it's probably not about monopolies - it's probably more about "restraint of trade" or "unfair competition." I think these investigations are happening because both the FTC and the EU don't really understand the technologies. They probably think Flash is like a browser that Apple is keeping off their machines. In any case, by the time either the FTC or the EU came to any decisions, the technology will have long since changed and the point will be moot. I mean, how can you argue with, "we'll permit it when it works." Besides, Apple is certainly not obligated to support every technology out there.



    No, these investigations occur because someone files a complaint alleging anticompetitive activities. A complaint normally results in an investigation. An investigation may result in no action or a negotiated settlement. In very rare cases, it results in a lawsuit. Apple may try to drag this out to the point where the results are moot, but that's a dangerous strategy. Believe it or not, the government lawyers are not stupid. They know foot-dragging when they see it, and do not react kindly to it.
  • Reply 83 of 238
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    True, but slowing is still slowing.



    But it isn't slowing, you're interpreting a percentage change instead of the numbers. If Q1 Android sold 2 million phones and Q2 they sold 3 million, they have sold even more, but the growth percentage will show as smaller. It is greater growth, but a smaller percentage change. Android recently posted an 886% increase year over year. Of course, they were increasing from practically zero. That kind of growth is only ever seen when rising from a zero point and is unsustainable. In any product
  • Reply 84 of 238
    I have said this before and I say it again in response to those who think Flash improves portability:





    If Adobe believes that Flash is such a good piece of software, why don't they try making it into a standalone OS that runs a mobile phone! Surely that would solve this problem







    Good luck!
  • Reply 85 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post


    The thing wrong with your analysis though, is that Apple actually does already allow any app into the store written in their accepted languages regardless of origin. The Flash product being argued over doesn't actually produce Objective C code at the end of the day, at least not for the whole app. If it did, then the developers of such apps could just open the code in XCode and upload it and no one would be the wiser.



    Also, even if what you say is true, it's a dangerous precedent for any government body to be telling a private company or individual what they can and cannot allow with their own products. This is the same thing as the government mandating that you use a certain kind of gas in your car, or forcing you to allow someone who doesn't like the colour of your house to paint the side facing them another colour.



    Yes, Apple's decisions in this regard put a total damper on developers wanting to engage in cross-platform solutions, but no, there isn't anything wrong or illegal about that. It's just the way it is.



    How can you prejudge the situation so completely? It's not a "dangerous precedent" for governments to become involved in competition issues, unless you are referring to 19th century precedents, since this is how long it's been going on.
  • Reply 86 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, yes, clearly you aren't interested in the quality of your work, but you are exactly the sort of developer consumers should be protected from. And, no, everyone does not have to update their app every time Apple updates iOS. But, if they do, they are responsible, and they can't fall back on lazy ass excuses like, "Yeah, I know the app you bought doesn't work but I can't do anything about it because the Crapware cross-compiler hasn't been updated yet and they are busy working on something else right now, so you are just shit out of luck."



    There are very few businesses that would disagree with my methods. If Apple cared that much they'd have their electronics built in their own factories, but instead they outsource to other companies to build there products. What if those other companies have an accident, close a factory, or whatnot. They tell Apple, sorry you're shit out of luck and will only get 3 million iPhones this month instead of 5 million. Or if the beef industry cared about absolute quality, there'd be 1 cow's meat in a patty instead of 100s of cows in 1 patty. To meet demand, increase profit, and grow beyond your limited capacity, you have to outsource and rely on others to an extent. If you haven't reached your full potential going alone, you are being lazy. When you reach your own limit, that's where teamwork comes in. You throw in a lot of "what if" scenarios that can be applied the opposite way. We are at a stalemate.
  • Reply 87 of 238
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,576member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SSquirrel View Post


    But it isn't slowing, you're interpreting a percentage change instead of the numbers. If Q1 Android sold 2 million phones and Q2 they sold 3 million, they have sold even more, but the growth percentage will show as smaller. It is greater growth, but a smaller percentage change. Android recently posted an 886% increase year over year. Of course, they were increasing from practically zero. That kind of growth is only ever seen when rising from a zero point and is unsustainable. In any product



    So, you are arguing that it was a false momentum, that it only appeared to be fantastic growth because it was growing from nothing? I can agree with that.
  • Reply 88 of 238
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,576member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by silverpraxis View Post


    There are very few businesses that would disagree with my methods. If Apple cared that much they'd have their electronics built in their own factories, but instead they outsource to other companies to build there products. What if those other companies have an accident, close a factory, or whatnot. They tell Apple, sorry you're shit out of luck and will only get 3 million iPhones this month instead of 5 million. Or if the beef industry cared about absolute quality, there'd be 1 cow's meat in a patty instead of 100s of cows in 1 patty. To meet demand, increase profit, and grow beyond your limited capacity, you have to outsource and rely on others to an extent. If you haven't reached your full potential going alone, you are being lazy. When you reach your own limit, that's where teamwork comes in. You throw in a lot of "what if" scenarios that can be applied the opposite way. We are at a stalemate.



    No, there's no stalemate. In the scenarios you present, one just takes one's business elsewhere. If developing for iOS is too difficult for you, there are plenty of other platforms you can take your business to, and iOS will be no worse off without you, nor will consumers who use it.
  • Reply 89 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SendMe View Post


    I think that you may be overestimating things a bit. There are hardly any Android phones, and of those, hardly any of those run 2.2. You can't even upgrade on the vast majority of Android phones, which are crippled with version 1.5 or 1.6, never able to be updated.



    They still sell these! BOGO and all! People think they are buying a good phone, but then, too late, they discover their marvelous DROID is completely obsolete.



    So when they claim that Android is selling like hotcakes in July, what they mean is that obsolete garbage is being given away for free to unsuspecting victims. Google should be ashamed of itself.



    Looks like someone's a bit behind on information!



    The "vast majority" of Android phones are actually running 2.1 right now and of those, many can be upgraded to 2.2. The "majority" of 1.5 and 1.6 phones are being phased out and or are considered "feature phones" which were never meant to be upgraded to 2.2.



    Essentially, what you're seeing with the 1.5, 1.6 feature phones is the evolution of the feature phone. At the core, they're still marketed as text/MMS/simple web phones for cheap for teenagers who don't need all the features of a smartphone. Android 1.5 and 1.6 cover those areas very well, so there's no incentive to make those phones go any higher than that. Not to mention that they might not have the hardware to begin with.



    See, the thing with your "obsolete" argument is that Android is on multiple OEMs, unlike Apple's single OEM. You can't expect all of them to fall in line and release phones only once a year. It's just the way of competition and technological progress. Many OEMs will produce progress faster than a single OEM.



    Personally speaking, I have no come across a single person I know that expressed the regret, as you claim, about being "obsolete". If anything, a lot of them regret they didn't get their Android device sooner.
  • Reply 90 of 238
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,576member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    In an ideal world, nobody uses that word to describe anything. Might force people to think in terms of substance rather than responding with gut reactions that may make them feel superior, but really don't have any other meaning. Frankly I'm hearing a lot of the latter in this debate.



    Well, in an ideal world, there would be no need to use it. What you are hearing in this debate are a bunch of developers, and Adobe astroturfers from time to time, who just want to "cash in" by churning out junk, and don't give a damn about iOS or its users, and, against them, people who value quality, and don't think Apple should have to compromise it's platform for a bunch of half-assed "ports" that will break whenever they try to make it better and leave people pissed off at Apple rather than Adobe and others who would truly be the responsible parties, but won't have to shoulder the blame.
  • Reply 91 of 238
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rbonner View Post


    Correct me if I am wrong, Apple didn't block flash, they blocked non native apps. I have never seen, or heard of, a version of flash that would actually run on the iPhone/iPad.







    http://blog.makezine.com/archive/201...ur_iphone.html
  • Reply 92 of 238
    .



    Say Apple (or anyone) gets forced to carry Flash apps (or Flash generated, cross-compiled derivatives) in their app store. Wouldn't the same apply to other interpreted languages like Java, Perl, Basic, etc.



    If so, wouldn't it be within the purview of the FTC, EU (FDA? DMV? ASCAP? DAR? SPBSQA?) to require proper labels and warnings on the apps, e.g.



    GOVERNMENT WARNING: (1) According to the Surgeon general, women should not drink alcoholic beverages use Flash apps during pregnancy because of the risk of birth defects. (2) Consumption of alcoholic beverages Flash apps impairs your ability to drive a car or operate machinery, operate a computer or cell phone, and may cause health problems and deplete your battery.





    Further, wouldn't these watchdogs need to come up with recommended daily requirements of acceptable app contents-- so much Flash-Fat, Java-Fat, etc?



    Then, wouldn't the providers of the apps be forced to list the origin and contents of each app:



    Made from cross-compiled code containing one or more of the following: Flash-Fat, Java-Fat, APL-Fat, Grep-Fat, CoBOL-Fat, filler, regexps....





    (Be careful, Adobe-- You may get more publicity than you bargained for!)





    Lord, protect us from the bureaucrats and politicians who strive to protect us from ourselves!



    If you tolerate it, you'll get more of it!
  • Reply 93 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    No, there's no stalemate. In the scenarios you present, one just takes one's business elsewhere. If developing for iOS is too difficult for you, there are plenty of other platforms you can take your business to, and iOS will be no worse off without you, nor will consumers who use it.



    You seem to misunderstand the basic premise of competition laws. Apple can well be prohibited from arbitrarily making it more difficult to develop for their platform. This can be called an artificial barrier to competition. This is why I say that Apple may be compelled to demonstrate a logic behind their developer policies that articulates a rationale for them beyond "these apps are crap." If they can't do that, then they'd better have Plan B ready and waiting, or they could find themselves mired in a long, unproductive or even potentially damaging debate with the regulators. For Exhibit A, see Microsoft.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    Well, in an ideal world, there would be no need to use it. What you are hearing in this debate are a bunch of developers, and Adobe astroturfers from time to time, who just want to "cash in" by churning out junk, and don't give a damn about iOS or its users, and, against them, people who value quality, and don't think Apple should have to compromise it's platform for a bunch of half-assed "ports" that will break whenever they try to make it better and leave people pissed off at Apple rather than Adobe and others who would truly be the responsible parties, but won't have to shoulder the blame.



    See above.
  • Reply 94 of 238
    nkalunkalu Posts: 315member
    I don't see what the problem is here. If you don't like Apple, then don't buy it. There are other alternatives.
  • Reply 95 of 238
    mjtomlinmjtomlin Posts: 1,854member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post


    I am confused... I mean, I'd actually like Flash on my iPad, but suggesting not having it there 'harms competition' is insane.



    Maybe they should investigate Flash's 99% market presense on computers, and see how much THAT is harming competition.



    The industry needs watchdogs and regulation, but they're so dim-witted, it's painful!



    Completely agree on this point.



    How would Adobe feel if Microsoft took Apple, Mozilla, and Opera to court to either force them to also distribute competing proprietary run-times with their browsers or force them to stop distributing Flash.



    This gives Adobe a huge unfair advantage that no one will ever be able to compete with.
  • Reply 96 of 238
    Apple has to test every App before they put it into THEIR store, that is probably an expensive task.They provide the servers for the Apps to be downloaded from, the interface (iTunes store) to make it easy to search for the App you like. All of that is overhead that costs them money before they make any money on a sale.



    Apple has determined from experience that cross-compiled code has issues, especially when they make changes to the OS and they don't want to spend their time and money promoting Apps made this way, it COSTS them to do so. Why must they be forced to babysit a situation that they know from experience will fall just so someone else can make money? I don't know of any stores here in my town that do that. If they know a product is more trouble than will be profitable, they simply don't put it into their store.



    Now that jailbreaking is deemed to be legal this should even be less of an issue. There is another store where people can buy apps made with cross-compiled code, no one is stopping anyone from creating apps for that store or from downloading them. All Apple is saying is that if you jailbreak and put stuff on your iDevice that we think is a bad idea due to X, Y, Z reasons we are not going to fix it.



    At the end of the day everyone gets what they want, so I really don't see any issue.
  • Reply 97 of 238
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,989member
    Well you went that far, why don't you get something to change the user agent ID in Safari, so it isn't identified as an iPhone.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by davidcarswell View Post


    I am currently running flash on my iphone-it is jailbroke and i installed 'frash'-a install through a custom repo in Cydia's app store on jailbroken phones. It runs ok. Farmville doesn't work because it can detect it is an iphone and refers me to download the FV app in Apple's App Store and the same for go.abc.com for tv shows



    -I can disable it with one click using the SBspringboard toggle i doubt i will ever use it-i ran a few videos and a casino site. worked ok... a couple hiccups but the iphone gets rather warm like a space heater-i hear the android version is the same. HOT. And the battery went down about 40% in just about 7 minutes.



    The hack utilizes an android flash version 10.1.



    My take is it has a long way to go.



    FTC and EU shouldn't waste their time especially considering Adobe doesn't have an acceptable mobile version anyway. Although really they shouldn't bother at all. Apple can choose what they want. Adobe could make it available regardless now that jailbreaking was declared legal in the eyes of the law. Adobe could solve this all by themselves going that route.



    just my 2 cents,



    -david



    !!! oh and it does come up with something similar to click2flash but just says flash. you have to tap it to load it - even for apps.



  • Reply 98 of 238
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anonymouse View Post


    No, there's no stalemate. In the scenarios you present, one just takes one's business elsewhere. If developing for iOS is too difficult for you, there are plenty of other platforms you can take your business to, and iOS will be no worse off without you, nor will consumers who use it.



    So you're saying if the cross platform compiler company lags behind the least iOS updates too much I could take my app to a company whose compiler is updated responsibly. Thanks for the idea.



    However, I understand your point about if it's never there, no one will miss it. But if everyone else has it, it could be missed.
  • Reply 99 of 238
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,576member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dr Millmoss View Post


    You seem to misunderstand the basic premise of competition laws. Apple can well be prohibited from arbitrarily making it more difficult to develop for their platform. This can be called an artificial barrier to competition. This is why I say that Apple may be compelled to demonstrate a logic behind their developer policies that articulates a rationale for them beyond "these apps are crap." If they can't do that, then they'd better have Plan B ready and waiting, or they could find themselves mired in a long, unproductive or even potentially damaging debate with the regulators. For Exhibit A, see Microsoft.



    Well, your argument might carry weight if a) there were an artificial barrier to competition, or b) if there were actually valid analogies with Microsoft's browser gambit to be made. But, since the "barriers" are entirely reasonable, and based on valid technological considerations, protecting consumers and developers, as well as iOS, and since the situation has nothing in common with the IE stuffing that MS engaged in, then Apple should have no trouble convincing regulators that Adobe's whining is just that.
  • Reply 100 of 238
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,217moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    the European Commission recently joined the probe "into whether Apple's business practices harm competition."



    Yeah, let's see how they figure out that a single company with proprietary products controlling a vast majority of important online media (in excess of 75% of all online video) is somehow being victimized by Apple because they favor open standards that are accessible to everyone.



    What next, will they force Mac and Linux users to use Internet Explorer in case Microsoft feels like their browser marketshare will erode?



    Blocking the Flash translation is entirely Apple's choice. They have laid out some rules and they have enough justification to be valid.



    If any complaint to the FTC needs to be made it's about Adobe for being allowed to have such control over the internet. No single company has that level of control. Internet Explorer has a 50% share now but Flash is nearing 97%. Given that you can build an entire site in Flash, Adobe has huge anti-competitive potential because no software other than Adobe's own software can reliably author Flash content and few others can similarly decode it reliably. That pretty much defines a monopoly and anti-competitive behavior.



    Forcing Apple to adopt Flash in some form would do exactly the opposite of what the EU and FTC intend because it means that a majority of smartphones will support a proprietary technology, which will further increase its usage and propagate the vendor lock-in. I guess they have to follow through whatever complaints are made but I can't see this having any weight behind it.



    No possible outcome can force Apple to use either a Flash to native translator or a Flash decoder for online content because Apple can just say that they don't meet performance, security and stability standards.
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