Apple’s Folly

The battle between Apple and Adobe is ridiculous. Ok.. it makes sense if you like to watch two large sumo wrestlers belly bump, ignoring customers and wanting to try to force the market to adopt their products, despite what the market wants. Let’s look at this more carefully.

First of all, many web pages (especially the most interesting ones) use Adobe Flash. I really like those pages.

Secondly, Apple won’t let anyone deploy Flash on its iPad or Safari browser, denying their customers the ability to see those pages. (Remind anyone of the worst of the Microsoft behavior that the government sued them for?)

Third, Apple has alternative technologies that it says are better, use less power, and are optimized to their devices. This is, in some ways, true. But it is also irrelevant. Apple should not make this choice for their customers – it should allow customers to discover it for themselves. A great example of why this is true is the Netflix app on the iPad – I love this app. The quality is great, it doesn’t drain the battery, and the image quality seems better than I get by streaming Netflix to my HD projector. This is a great example of the quality of the Apple technology. If it performs that well on the iPad, it should win in the marketplace. But I hate being told that I must use it.

Lastly, the real reason for this decision was made evident when Apple banned the use of applications that otherwise complied with their standards, but were written on Adobe software.

So.. Steve Jobs please let us see Flash web pages. You have created great technology and products. The iPhone and IPad are transformative. You don’t need to force your customers to use your technology. If you keep innovating, your customers will decide to use what you produce. Use your market leadership with confidence. Win by being better. Don’t emulate the worst behavior; emulate the best.

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