With Adobe’s recent announcement on the discontinuation of its mobile Flash plug-in, we are reminded of an open letter Steve Jobs wrote last year regarding the topic. The letter was in response to Adobe’s public criticism of Apple for omitting the technology from its products.

In the public letter, Jobs lists several sensible reasons why Apple has decided not to include Flash support in its mobile products. The post explains these reasons clearly and thoroughly, and is a tribute to Jobs’ remarkable writing abilities…

“In addition, Flash has not performed well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on mobile devices. We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We have never seen it. Adobe publicly said that Flash would ship on a smartphone in early 2008, then the second half of 2008, then the first half of 2010, and now they say the second half of 2010. We think it will eventually ship, but we’re glad we didn’t hold our breath.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.”

Even though “Thoughts on Flash” was meant to clear the air on Apple’s stance regarding the mobile web technology, the CEO took some heat over the post. Here he is defending the letter at AllThingsDigital’s D8 conference in 2010:

In the end, Jobs was right. In addition to discontinuing its work on mobile Flash, Adobe has announced that it plans to invest more of its resources in HTML5 development. And we’re sure that somewhere the Apple co-founder is grinning from ear-to-ear.

“I told you so.”

  • Anonymous

    This comes only because Adobe had no choice. Look at how many iOS devices are sold. If Adobe wants to survive in the market they needed to do that. In other words: Apple forced them to do so.

    There is nothing bad about a system without flash, if the user has the choice to install it. Look at OSX here you can choice why not also on iOS? Well the ways of Apple…

    • Anonymous

      From Jobs’ ‘Thoughts on Flash’:

      “Symantec recently highlighted Flash for having one of the worst security records in 2009. We also know first hand that Flash is the number one reason Macs crash. We have been working with Adobe to fix these problems, but they have persisted for several years now. We don’t want to reduce the reliability and security of our iPhones, iPods and iPads by adding Flash.”

      If users had the option to install Flash on iOS, Apple would have to provide customer support to them in the event of a malfunction. Not worth it.

      • Isn’t everything sanboxed on an iOS device? So what could possibly happen? A crash of safari. That would be fixed after a restart.

      • Anonymous

        Which is something, with the exception of people like you and I, people don’t want to deal with. It’s really that simple, people don’t want to restart their phones, they don’t want to install updates to remedy bugs, leave that to the tech lovers, let the general public open their white box and enjoy their phone without hassle.

    • i thought Android devices are outgunning iOS devices in terms of numbers? if that’s true and i’m sure most Android fanboys will say it’s true, then there is nothing for Adobe to worry about. my guess is Adobe is slowly realizing the fact that Flash has a bleak future in mobile devices and is now kicking themselves in the arse. Apple did not force them. Apple made a choice, a wise choice and stood by it. what really made Adobe drop Flash support is anybody’s guess…

    • No, this comes only because Adobe knows that html5 is the future and that flash has nothing to do. Anyon that has been working with html5/css3/js knows its true

  • Dan

    Might as well push forward with HTML5 if flash wasn’t able to fully function on a mobile device anyway

  • Mkan mn el aweeeeel!
    Miss u steve!

  • His speches are incredible… Looove it. Miss u stevee…

  • Game Over for FLASH….

  • Anonymous

    Told ya 🙂

  • Anonymous

    1 less advantage that android has against apple. 🙂