Adobe Slams Steve Jobs' Flash Stance

Adode answers Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the mounting Flash battle between the two tech heavyweights.
Author:
Publish date:

SAN JOSE, Calif. (

TheStreet

) --

Adobe

(ADBE) - Get Report

has fired back at

Apple

(AAPL) - Get Report

CEO Steve Jobs in the mounting Flash battle between the two tech heavyweights.

Jobs

slammed Adobe's Flash technology in an open letter yesterday

, explaining Apple's decision

not to offer Flash on its iPhones, iPods and iPads

.

The turtle-necked tech guru savaged the popular multimedia software in the 1,675-word letter, accusing Adobe of touting a "100% proprietary technology." Jobs went on to pan Flash's security, reliability and performance.

Adobe has now shot back at Apple, accusing the consumer tech giant of deliberately confusing people in an attempt to protect its own business.

"Any attempt to position this solely as a technology issue is a smokescreen," said Holly Campbell, Adobe's director of corporate communications, in a statement emailed to

TheStreet

. "Apple's moves to block Flash and other technologies are designed to protect a business model that locks developers and consumers into a single, proprietary stack."

Adobe CTO Kevin Lynch joined the fray in a blog posting late Thursday, arguing that Flash performance is not the issue.

"The primary issue at hand is that Apple is choosing to block Adobe's widely-used run times, as well as a variety of technologies from other providers," he said. "We feel confident that were Apple and Adobe to work together as we are with a number of other partners, we could provide a terrific experience with Flash on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch."

Lynch, however, shrugged off Apple's decision, explaining that there are plenty of other fish in the sea.

"Given the legal terms Apple has imposed on developers, we have already decided to shift our focus away from Apple for both Flash player and AIR," he said, referring to the company's software for building multi-OS applications. "We are working to bring Flash Player and AIR to all the other major participants in the mobile ecosystem, including

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

,

Research In Motion

(RIMM)

,

Palm

(PALM)

(soon to be part of

Hewlett-Packard

(HPQ) - Get Report

),

Microsoft

(MSFT) - Get Report

,

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

and others."

Adobe is working with a slew of mobile operating systems, including both

Android

and Windows Phone 7. H-P has also trumpeted the Flash capabilities of its mysterious

'Slate'

. The tech giant, however, was

reportedly evasive

about the future of its Tablet on the conference call to discuss its recent Palm acquisition.

Lynch explained that Adobe is looking forward to delivering a preview version of Flash Player 10.1 for

Android

phones at Google's I/O event next month, followed by a general release in June.

Adobe, which is something of an

analyst darling

, beat Wall Street's first-quarter estimates last month and gave bullish guidance, suggesting that there is upside ahead.

However, Adobe acknowledged that Apple's decision could damage its business in a recent 10-Q filing with the SEC.

The company's stock fell 76 cents, or 2.17%, to $34.20 in early trading on Friday, as investors responded to the Adobe/Apple schism. This outpaced the broader dip in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq slip 0.49%.

Apple, which supports Flash on Macs, goes back a long way with Adobe and even held a 20% stake in Adobe for many years. The tech bellwether also holds the distinction of being Adobe's first major customer, way back when it ran the software maker's PostScript language on its Laserwriter printer, something that Jobs referred to in his open letter yesterday.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

Follow James Rogers on

Twitter

and become a fan of

TheStreet.com

on

Facebook.