// Everything and Anything


Sunday February 28, 2010

I’ve been following the “No Flash on the iPad” stories fairly closely over the past couple weeks.  Most interesting to me is the pundit’s takes on why Apple has chosen to neglect a de facto standard of the web.  There is Apple’s claim that flash is just not stable/cpu efficient, Gruber’s perspective that the computing giant is trying to change the baseline standard of the web, and a hundred other theories flying around cyberspace.  I don’t disagree with any of these explanations.  However, I do feel that none of them are compelling enough to be the real reason why Apple is blocking flash from the platform.

My logic:

  • Apple’s mobile devices are perfect for enjoying media: the iPad/iPhone/iPod touch are ideal for video and audio consumption.
  • In the web ecosystem, Flash is the content distribution mechanism for commercial-grade audio and video, and currently provide it for free. (See: Hulu, Megavideo, Grooveshark)
  • By removing flash from its mobile devices, Apple is limiting the way users can acquire media to either pirating or purchasing content.
  • Pirating and transferring over media is sufficiently more complicated and more of a hassle than purchasing it through Apple’s iTunes store.
  • Thus,  Apple is barring Flash from its devices in order to bolster their own content sales.

Other Notes:

  • All other uses of flash are already duplicated on these devices, so the absence of Flash is not hindering the device in any other way.
    • User generated video/audio can be accessed through the YouTube application
    • Online casual (Flash) games are easily replicated/surpassed by the flourishing “Game” category of the AppStore.
  • Would complement rumors of Apple dropping the price of a TV show to 99 cents.
  • Would give a new perspective to why Apple priced the iPad at $500: if they are counting on content sales to be huge, then they can afford the smaller premiums on their hardware.