Flash on the iPhone: The Story Behind the Stories

How likely is it that we will see Adobe’s Flash running on Apple’s iPhone? Like the blind men touching different parts of the elephant and perceiving the creature variously as a snake, a rope, a spear, and a tree trunk, the answer to the question may depend on the source of your information. Consider the following recent headlines from various online publications:

Brighthand: “Adobe Flash Coming to iPhones at Last

Engadget: “Apple teams up with Adobe for iPhone Flash at long last

Apple Insider: “Adobe, Apple working together on Flash for iPhone

CNET News: “Adobe CEO: Flash on iPhone not so easy

InfoWorld: “Flash on iPhone hopes dashed

That’s quite a range of viewpoints — from “coming…at last” to “hopes dashed.”

Surprisingly, all of these articles stem from the same primary source, an interview with Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen on Bloomberg TV at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (although I suspect that some of the stories are based on the accounts in other secondary sources rather than on the original interview).

In case you’re wondering, here’s the relevant portion of the original conversation:

Bloomberg TV: Why isn’t Flash in the iPhone?

Narayen: It’s a hard technical challenge. And that’s part of the reason why Apple and Adobe are cooperating to try to get it done as soon as possible.

Bloomberg TV: Do you feel, though, that Apple in recent weeks or recent months has strengthened its commitment to putting Flash in the iPhone? Has anything changed there?

Narayen: I think, really, the ball right now is in our court. We have the developer kit and it’s the onus on us to deliver the kind of great fidelity that we deliver on all other platforms.

You can make up your own mind whether Narayen’s statements sound optimistic or discouraging. But it’s always good to check the original source. Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet (or offline for that matter).

[Updated 2009-Feb-03 to add citation to Brighthand item.]

2 thoughts on “Flash on the iPhone: The Story Behind the Stories

  1. This all makes me quite nostalgic for the days when the phone was simply a tool for communication, but maybe I’m becoming a bit of a luddite.

    Like

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