Since the iPhone came out, there has been an ongoing debate about Apple's refusal to allow Flash content to run on its platform. But things escalated to a whole new level recently when the Cupertino-based company decided to ban developers from using cross-platform compilers, like the one Adobe just so happened to have announced as a key feature in Creative Suite 5, and instead required apps to be written natively for the iPhone OS.
Adobe and developers were quick to lash out at Apple, calling out their seemingly arbitrary App Store approval process, and even accusing them of wanting to use developers as pawns in their crusade against Adobe. Today, Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself has gone on the offensive with a lengthy open letter in which he talked about the companies' intertwined histories, and detailed exactly why he believes Flash is actually detrimental for innovation on mobile devices.
The executive noted how the two have worked closely for years to pioneer the publishing business and continue to share some interests in the desktop front -- Mac users buy around half of Adobe's Creative Suite products. However, he then goes on to list a number of reasons why Flash on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad is not a good idea: openness, the “full web”, reliability, security and performance, battery life, touch interfaces, and software quality.
Jobs makes some interesting points along the way. Though he acknowledges Apple's own platforms are closed, he also claims that products are different than the web and that all standards pertaining to the web should be open. He concludes by sympathizing with Adobe's aims of extending beyond the desktop, but asserts that they "should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind."