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Rumor has Adobe suing Apple in weeks

updated 02:55 pm EDT, Tue April 13, 2010

Adobe may force Apple to allow outside dev tools

A rumor on Tuesday claimed that Adobe was near suing Apple over the company's decision to ban cross-compilers in the iPhone 4.0 SDK. Contacts near Adobe purportedly said the Flash developer has already made up its mind and is set to file a lawsuit "within a few weeks." How Adobe would approach the case or what exactly it would demand weren't mentioned by ITWorld's writer, but it's presumed Adobe would have a court force Apple to allow third-party tools.

The statement is somewhat contradicted by Adobe Product Evangelist Lee Brimelow's own remarks, as he stressed that the company wouldn't retaliate by pulling Mac apps. He likewise only said that Adobe was checking to see if the terms actually banned Flash CS5's iPhone app export tool. However, Apple CEO Steve Jobs this weekend wrote a response to an inquisitive user suggesting that Adobe was very likely to be locked out.

Apple is believed to have restricted development to its Xcode tools to ensure that every developer has access to the same features and prevent a repeat of problems encountered with Mac OS X, where a reliance on third-party development tools left Adobe and Microsoft with software that had to be largely rewritten to work on Intel processors. Many have also argued that Apple has the ulterior motive of making it difficult to develop for Android and other platforms at the same time, although it has been equally argued that the change encourages use of iPhone-specific features.


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By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +6

    rumors, right

    Like why pay attention to such things. Probably a rumor from a guy in a mail room.

  1. QualleyIV

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2001

    +20

    If you can't compete, sue.

    Here's an idea, hire less lawyers and more programmers. I find it interesting how Adobe ALL OF A SUDDEN decides that it really wants to make the Mac (and the iPhone) a first class citizen with respect to flash. MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT ABOUT THAT FIVE YEARS AGO. It's not like we're all over here on the Mac hating on Adobe's products. There are plenty of solid Adobe offerings. That said, they do make stuff that just sucks (e.g. Premier) and Apple SHOULD kill it if it can...

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -11

    Article

    The statement is somewhat contradicted by Adobe Product Evangelist Lee Brimelow's own remarks, as he stressed that the company wouldn't retaliate by pulling Mac apps.

    A lawsuit isn't the same as pulling Mac apps. There is no contradiction, unless you think that they meant they wouldn't "retaliate" at all.

    And I wouldn't call this retaliation.

    where a reliance on third-party development tools left Adobe and Microsoft with software that had to be largely rewritten to work on Intel processors.

    And how is that Apple's problem or concern? And without those third-party compilers, the programs would have needed to be largely rewritten at the time they initially were working on converting to OS X, which would have delayed their products then.

    although it has been equally argued that the change encourages use of iPhone-specific features.

    Well, that was argued by Jobs, not really anyone else.

    And maybe Apple should listen to their users. You know, one of the main complaints about Quicken for Mac is (a) it lacks all the features of the Windows version, and (b) the data file isn't cross-platform. Very few people seemed to care that Quicken was a 'native' Mac app vs. a port. Oh, and have you heard all the grumblings over the completely redone Quicken 2010 for Mac? Sure, they started from the ground up. But it is also less capable in so many ways than it's Mac predecessor, let alone the Windows version.

    But at least it's developed in xCode! Apple must be thrilled.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    -17

    Re: If you can't compete, sue.

    And that's the problem. They aren't even allowed to compete. Apple has basically said "You can't use any Adobe tools for the iPad". Therefore they might have to sue to try to get the right to compete.

    I find it interesting how Adobe ALL OF A SUDDEN decides that it really wants to make the Mac (and the iPhone) a first class citizen with respect to flash.

    First off, this has nothing to do directly with Flash.

    Second, who says that have not wanted to improve Flash on OS X. The problem might be that Apple was unwilling to aid them in that effort (if the APIs can't support what they need to do, they have to write their own and use the CPU instead of the GPU for stuff, slowing everything down). Oh, right, can't be Apple's fault, must by Adobe.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +8

    Yeah Right

    Good luck with that, Adobe. Apple does not have a monopoly on mobile phones or tablets, or the software that runs on such devices. Adobe is free to compete with Apple by making their own cell phones, or by partnering with competing device makers. There's no reason Apple should be forced by the courts to allow anything they don't want on the iPhone platform.

    Once Apple is controlling 90% of the US mobile device market, then we can talk about getting the courts to look into not only Apple's lock on what can go in the App Store, but also the fact that the App Store is the only means of software distribution, Apple's lock on mobile payment processing at that point, unfair access to demographic and user info for their advertising business, and any number of facets to Apple iPhone business. Until then, however, Adobe will have to grin and bear it, and see how they can target iPhones in other ways (HTML5).

  1. iphonerulez

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Nov 2008

    -9

    Let me get this straight...

    Suppose a car manufacturer was selling a line of sports cars and a tire manufacturer decided on its own that they wanted to build tires for that line of cars. The auto manufacturer decides that they don't want to use that brand of tires for, let's say, lower-than-standard quality reasons. Now even though those tires would work on other manufacturers cars and the tire manufacturer wouldn't be stuck with useless tires, could the tire manufacturer sue and actually stand a chance of winning such a case? I'm not sure if this is a good analogy or not, but it just seems that if the auto manufacturer never committed to or drew up a contract to use those tires in the first place, how is that something worth taking to court.

    This suit may be just a rumor, but if it isn't I'm just asking if such a case would have any validity in proving Apple was at fault.

  1. WiseWeasel

    Junior Member

    Joined: Apr 1999

    +5

    Re: Let me get this straight...

    The analogy doesn't work very well; tires are very different from software, due to the fact that tires are historically standardized while native software must be custom-tailored for the platform it runs on. That said, there would be nothing stopping a car company from patenting a new type of tire attachment, and then only licensing it to a single tire manufacturer. The market typically frowns on that type of behavior, because it makes components significantly more expensive, and so the problem tends to be self-regulating.

    If the new tire comes to dominate a market, becoming a standardized part across a significant portion of the car market, and other tire manufacturers can demonstrate that their business is being harmed by anti-competitive behavior, because the car manufacturer won't license it to them for the same rate it charges the first tire manufacturer, then there's a lawsuit. That's a far cry from this case, however, as the iPhone doesn't even have any tires, to stretch the analogy, and Adobe is trying to force Apple to sell tires when Apple's already moved on to vector-thrust flight.

  1. facebook_Ted

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Apr 2010

    +15

    Terrible analogy

    iphonerulez - that's a terrible analogy.

    Look at it this way. How come there aren't any Flash games available for the Xbox 360, Playstation or Wii? Because none of those platform's owners will allow them. The consoles have much more horsepower than the iPad/iPhone, and yet those platform owners don't allow games to be developed on their systems in Flash. When you sign up to develop games for Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo, you sign an agreement. I haven't read any of those agreements, but I'm assuming they are as restrictive as Apple's (probably even more so).

    Adobe doesn't have a leg to stand on here. They rolled the dice hoping Apple wouldn't block their Flash packager, and they lost. It was a foolish gamble, and they lost.

  1. climacs

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001

    +14

    kill flash

    can't happen soon enough

  1. ElectroTech

    Junior Member

    Joined: Nov 2008

    +4

    Energy usage

    Adobe has made a few changes to some good products but it is time that they spend some time and money fixing other lagging product.

    Energy use has not seemed to be on Adobe's radar and it makes it necessary to keep buying new hardware for these energy hungry titles.

    I am going to skip this offering because it doesn't have any real and meaningful changes. Adobe's refusal to deal with energy use seems criminal.

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