This is a response to Steve Jobs' recent open letter to Adobe posted on the Apple web site.
In this letter, Mr. Jobs explains his (and Apple's) official position on why Flash is not, and will not be, available for the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
I think he raises some valid points about the shortcomings of running Flash on mobile devices, such as lack of a "hover" interaction. However, many of his arguments against the use of Flash do not sound to me like valid justifications for preventing use of the platform entirely.
For example, take the following paragraph.
Adobe has repeatedly said that Apple mobile devices cannot access “the full web” because 75% of video on the web is in Flash. What they don’t say is that almost all this video is also available in a more modern format, H.264, and viewable on iPhones, iPods and iPads. YouTube, with an estimated 40% of the web’s video, shines in an app bundled on all Apple mobile devices, with the iPad offering perhaps the best YouTube discovery and viewing experience ever. Add to this video from Vimeo, Netflix, Facebook, ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, ESPN, NPR, Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Sports Illustrated, People, National Geographic, and many, many others. iPhone, iPod and iPad users aren’t missing much video.
What is the problem with Flash, here? "Almost all" is not all, and I think he vastly overestimates how much of the internet's video is available in formats that will play on the iPhone.
The YouTube app that ships with the iPhone cannot decode all of the video that is available on YouTube. It does not take much probing to uncover the stark difference between the quantity and quality of videos available on the web versus on the iPhone app.
What about other important and popular video sources, such as Amazon Video on Demand, or Hulu? It is disingenuous of Apple to suggest that users will not miss videos from these sources because they are available to purchase through the iTunes store. I can play my Amazon videos on my Zune, my computer, my TV, and other devices as well. iTunes only allows this on Apple-approved devices such as the iPod and iPhone. My $99 Roku will play Netflix and Amazon Video on Demand movies, but not iTunes purchases.
I would go on, but I just discovered a response to Steve Jobs' letter by Jesse Warden which already says most of the points I was going to make, as well as many others, so I will just link to that instead.