Apr 29

Steve Jobs has taken a break from his iPad e-mailing spree to post another long, open letter to Apple’s website, this time about Flash. The letter goes into detail as to why Apple chooses not to allow Adobe’s Flash technology on the iPhone and iPad, claiming that the decision isn’t as business-driven as Adobe would like to believe.

Jobs’ opening remark is about Flash’s openness, or lack thereof. “While Adobe’s Flash products are widely available, this does not mean they are open, since they are controlled entirely by Adobe and available only from Adobe,” writes Jobs. He acknowledges that Apple has closed products as well—namely the iPhone, iPod, and iPad—but that the company believes that all standards on the Web should be open. Naturally, this leads into Apple’s support of HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript, not to mention Apple’s support for the open source WebKit.

Jobs also believes that Flash isn’t quite as dominant on the Web as Adobe claims, noting that “almost all” video that is available in Flash is also available in H.264. YouTube is among the most successful apps on the iPhone OS, Jobs points out, and there are numerous other apps that support video streaming available for the iPad (Netflix, ABC, NPR, New York Times, and more). Again, Jobs makes the concession that iPhone OS users won’t be able to play Flash games, but says that there are plenty of other games on the App Store. (Someone let me know when there’s a version of Winterbells for iPhone.)

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[From Poll Technica: Steve Jobs’ letter on Flash]

It seems most readers agree with Steve Jobs so far, according to the poll.

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