My One-Question E-mail Interview With Apple CEO Steve Jobs About Flash

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m no electrical or software engineer. But some of your claims have just been truly strange regarding Flash. At one point, you were saying that cell phones for the most part can’t plausibly run Flash. I have used Skyfire on a Nokia e71 and e71x, and it is quite usable. I mean, gosh, I know you’ve got to pay attention to your bottom line. But when you’ve got somebody not particularly technology savvy noticing these things, well, it’s kind of difficult for you to expect people to take your claims seriously. Being generous with you, I suspect you believe that because Flash is somewhat inconsistent on these types of devices, it’s not worth running it at all. But to claim that Flash doesn’t work on this now three-year-old phone, e71, is just laughable.

It sounds like the real issue is bandwidth. And frankly I’m not very likely to totally blame you for this problem. In the name of preserving its bandwidth, AT&T has been banning applications on my e71x in the interest of controlling data flow. The real problem with this is its conceit ignores that of course on the iPhone and many other branded phones the restrictions also occur on privately-owned Wifi networks. It would have made AT&T look worse, but the restrictions that you have put on the iPhone and iPad are clearly about appeasing AT&T. Pretending that they are about Flash just seems disingenuous. I think you should negotiate with AT&T to just allow fuller access to flash and other high-bandwidth applications as long as the user is simply using Wifi.

As long as you want to market a device as being “perfect for video,” you simply have to allow Flash at this time.

The flash you have run is flash-lite, which is not capable of running most flash websites. Adobe is just now showing full flash running on mobile devices, around 2 years later than promised.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Apple’s iPhone does not run Flash Lite.

CORRECTION: While Apple’s iPhone does now run Flash Lite, contrary to what I claimed earlier, I still feel I can rest my case about Apple’s ulterior motives for not utilizing Flash. It escapes me why anyone would wish to adopt either the iPad or the iPod and enter a not-so-glamorous world of puritanical sensory deprivation.