Flash on the iPhone? Sort of. The next version of Adobe’s Flash developer tools, Creative Suite 5 (which is currently in private beta), will include a Packager for iPhone apps which will automatically convert any Flash app into an iPhone app. Pretty nifty. As many of us know, Apple isn’t much of a Flash supporter. Apple’s major complaints about Adobe’s Flash is that it is a resource hog – eats up a lot of CPU which return will drain battery life quickly. Granted Adobe has acknowledged this and made many changes and fixes to Flash which now can run on Android phone relatively well.
Aside from the technical reasons behind Apple keeping Flash off the iPhone, I think there is a competition factor in there as well. When Apple launched the App Store they wanted (and still want) to control the marketplace that Apps and sold in so they can maintain the user experience they have in mind is “right” for iPhone users (while making a pretty penny off the apps being sold).
If you throw in third party developer opportunities such as web-based apps, etc you take a chunk of apps out of the App Store. Will Apple mind if these Adobe Flash ported to iPhone apps arrive in the App Store? Apparently there are already some of these apps in the App Store. I don’t think Apple cares provided they can control the environment of the iPhone.
How beneficial will this for Apple? Well, Apple has approximately 125,000 iPhone developers according to recent reports while Adobe Flash has 2 million. We may see an influx of apps (and you thought there were already a ton). Apple may need to hire some more app reviewers.