Adobe CEO Speaks About the Battle Over Flash with Apple at D9

Posted by at 11:06 am on June 3, 2011

The conflict between Apple and Adobe over Flash has been about business models and control of platforms, says Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen. Speaking at the D9 conference, the executive remarked that using Flash, a developer can author code once and have it in wide distribution. Some 130 million Flash-capable phones will be in circulation by the end of the year, Narayen estimates.

“It’s all about control of the applications running on the platform that lets the platform come to life. If you build in Flash, you can run the apps on other platforms,” he comments. He observes for instance that Flash can actually run on iOS devices, it just has to do so within Adobe AIR. “If you can build app using our tools, and if you run it through AIR, it can be in the App Store,” the CEO states.

Although having to use AIR is an “extra step,” Narayen promises that Adobe will “work around any obstacles” to help developers publish. He mentions that the company has solved at least one problem through its Digital Publishing Suite, which allows an app to be developed for iOS, Android and other platforms simultaneously. A common use of the DPS is iPad magazine publishing, one example being Wired.

Apple and Adobe have stopped fighting, Narayen suggests. He adds that Adobe is not worried about HTML5 potentially replacing Flash for two reasons. Flash is first of all said to be just a small part of what the company produces, the bulk of its sales being production tools for web and print. Since its tools are used to create HTML5 content, Adobe continues to make money.

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