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Steve Jobs: HTML5 Will Kill Flash

By: Simon
Jan 18, 2023
Posted: Feb 1, 2010

As the Apple Turns

With the release of the iPad I was eagerly expecting to see some sort of Flash improvement or moving towards a solution with Adobe with regard to Flash being able to play on an iPhone or iPad. Rather than a push towards bridging the Flash gap we got a double down and some Google smack talk.

Steve Jobs had a town hall meeting and answered questions from Apple employees brave enough to ask tough questions. Concerning Flash there was nothing new. Jobs doubled down by basically saying HTML5 will kill Flash:

About Adobe: They are lazy, Jobs says. They have all this potential to do interesting things but they just refuse to do it. They don’t do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.

It’s a toss up for me at this point. I have been using Flash since Future Splash, I know code, I know business, and don’t believe this is a win for Jobs by keeping the iPad or iPhone closed. All he has to do is open up the code and let us do the rest. It’s easy to Monday morning quarterback I guess, but calling Adobe lazy isn’t going to help even if they were lazy.

If he can’t open the iPhone or iPad maybe an un-bloated version of the plug-in could be created for these devices. The fact is that Flash is pervasive – it’s everywhere and that’s NOT going to change. Has Adobe really turned it’s back on the Apple users that really got them where they are today – yes. Should that change – yes. However, doubling down isn’t going to help and not to mention this smacks of Jobs simply protecting the iTunes Store. I mean why would we pay for movies when we could watch for free?


Simon Urbina

Simon Urbina

Simon is a Product Designer and Front End Dev with over 20 years of experience. He started as a graphic designer and illustrator coding his first website in 1996. He has worked with brands like Publix, Microsoft, and Discovery Channel.