Apple, Adobe at war over iPad

Workers apply the Apple logo to the exterior of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in preparation for an Apple special event in San Francisco, Calif. -- January 26, 2010


Steve Chiotakis: Apple's new tablet, the iPad, has touched off a battle of the tech-titans. Like the iPhone, the iPad won't run Adobe flash. That's a popular software used in Web design. Apple CEO Steve Jobs says Flash isn't up to Apple's standards and causes computers to crash. But Adobe just hit back. Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith takes us ringside.

Stacey Vanek-Smith: In one corner, there's Apple. Its iPhone created an industry standard, and the iPad may be next.

In the other corner, there's Adobe. Its flash player created a standard of its own for online video.

Carl Howe: I think they're trying to figure out who will blink first in this war.

Carl Howe is a tech analyst for the Yankee Group. He says Apple is putting its weight behind rival technology HTML5, and that's a big blow to Adobe.

Howe: The fact that Apple's rejecting it has got to be a slap in their face.

But Apple may have a glass jaw, says Wedbush Securities analyst Micahel Pachter. He says online games, ads and video sites like hulu all rely on Adobe Flash. And customers aren't going to be happy if they can't play online video games on their shiny new iPad.

Micahel Pachter: I think Adobe feels that the software as is is essential, and if Apple wants it, they'll modify the device to be able to use the software.

Adobe just announced its latest flash player will be on all of the top smartphones. Well, almost all of them.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

About the author

Stacey Vanek Smith is a senior reporter for Marketplace, where she covers banking, consumer finance, housing and advertising.


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