No Flash for iPhone, Gizmodo Raids: Is Apple the Bad Guy?

I own an iPhone and I like it although I couldn’t tell you exactly why.  The phone service with AT&T is mediocre at best and it seems that any time I really have a need to access the internet on the 3g network it’s either slow or really slow.  Maybe it’s the social apps like Twitter and Facebook and the best of breed iPhone apps that make it easy to use them, or the intuitive user interface.  Maybe it’s the way the iPhone looks so cool.  I don’t know.  I think for me maybe it’s the promise of the iPhone—the ideas of what it could and hopefully will deliver.

One area where the iPhone lacks is in the department of web browsing and specifically the fact that it doesn’t support Flash at all and fortunately or unfortunately many many web sites use it for everything from navigation to video.  Recently Steve Jobs published an open letter about why Flash was never going to be allowed on the iPhone which is apparently going to result in an antitrust probe of Apple in the next few days.

Now I could go item by item through the Jobs letter and say why I disagree with it (and in many cases I definitely do) but the main point that doesn’t really need arguing is that there’s a clear loser in all of this and the loser is me and every other Apple user.  Yes in the future HTML5 + JavaScript may be an open solution to the problems that Adobe Flash solves, but right now there’s a lot of content out there that isn’t accessible on an iPhone or iPad and Steve Jobs just told me to suck it.

Also around this same time a drunk Apple employee left his prototype iPhone 4 in a bar and it got sold to a reputable technology blog (Gizmodo).  At first Apple denied that the phone was theirs and then after a comprehensive breakdown of the device by Gizmodo they conceded that it was theirs and could they please have it back and then the police broke down the Gizmodo editor’s door and searched his place—perhaps looking for an iPhone 4 knockoff factory he was shrewdly constructing in his basement.  Even Jon Steward of The Daily Show joined the fray in chastising Apple for its recent behavior:

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So what’s the scoop Apple?  Yes the iPhone blew the cell phone market out of the water with the combination of what it actually could do and also with what it promised to do in the future.  Now with the promises getting trimmed and the real features being too restrictive to browse a whole heckuvalot of web content don’t think you have the only boat in town.  The Droid phone is very close to the iPhone promise (and some people might even say it exceeds it) and I presume there will be sequels and other competitors using an actually open platform like Android and then doing what it takes to let us visit all of the web on our phones.


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