Flash video not suitable for iPhone, Apple CEO says
Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs said the iPhone won't be using Adobe Systems' Inc.'s popular Flash media player any time soon, saying the technology doesn't meet his company's performance standards for video.
Speaking at a shareholder meeting in Cupertino, Calif. on Tuesday, Jobs said the version of Flash formatted to personal computers is too slow on the iPhone while the mobile version of the media player is "is not capable of being used with the web," according to reports from Dow Jones and technology website C-Net.
Jobs said "middle ground" was needed before the iPhone would adopt Flash.
The comments come a day before Apple is set to introduce the company's plan for iPhone SDK, the software developers kit which will allow third-party developers to create applications that can work in conjunction with the popular handheld device.
The iPhone has been praised for its ability to show videos across the full length of the 3.5 inch device, a much larger display than most mobile phones with video capability.
But since the iPhone launched in June of 2007, the way in which it plays video has been criticized for its limited practicality. Users can play Quicktime videos online, but not Flash or Windows Media Video files.
Popular online video website YouTube made a fraction of its videos available for the iPhone, but the majority of online videos run on Adobe's Flash player and so cannot be played on the iPhone.
Ryan Stewart, Adobe's spokesman for internet-based applications, wrote on his blog Tuesday he thinks Apple is missing out by not making its mobile device work with Flash.
"I'd even go as far as to say that the web experience isn't complete on the iPhone until some kind of Flash support is added," wrote Stewart, who added that 450 million mobile devices are Flash enabled.
Jobs's comments came on the same day Microsoft Corp. announced a deal to make its Silverlight media player available on mobile phones using Nokia Corp. software.
Microsoft launched Silverlight, a challenger to Flash, for PCs in April 2007. It will run on smartphones that use the newer S60 version of Nokia's Symbian mobile phone operating system, as well as older ones using the S40 version, Microsoft said.
Symbian is the dominant system on smartphones in terms of market share, with Nokia shipping about 53 per cent of the 35.5 million smartphones sent out in the fourth quarter of 2007.