Steve Jobs to Adobe: “I Told You So”

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.”