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Apple's relaxing of App Store rules has 'muted' effect on Adobe

Apple's decision to allow intermediary tools to port software from formats like Flash to the iPhone did not have a significant effect on sales of Adobe products, the company's CEO said this week.

Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen took part in his company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday, in which he was asked about Apple's decision to allow third-party development tools to port applications to the iPhone. That meant software created with Adobe's own Flash-to-iPhone compiler became acceptable on the App Store.

Narayen said that the day Apple announced the change, a number of applications created with Adobe's Flash-to-iPhone compiler were approved, though he said the immediate effect on demand for Adobe Creative products was not significant.

"In the short run, I would say the impact was muted," he said.

But Narayen said he believes Adobe's tools give developers the opportunity to repurpose their applications and content for multiple formats and devices, allowing them to make their products available on a range of platforms, including Apple's wildly successful iOS mobile operating system.

The chief executive also said his company has talked with many content publishers who are concerned about making their content available on a range of devices, which he referred to as the "multi-screen problem." He said he believes Adobe's tools help to address that problem.

"Every publisher we talk to wants us to continue to help them author content and repurpose it across multiple devices," he said.

On Tuesday, Adobe announced that its net income for the third quarter was up 69 percent, but the company also gave an outlook for the fourth quarter that fell short of analyst expectations. Narayen said his company was taking a "cautious" view of the coming quarter, because back-to-school sales in the U.S. have been weaker than anticipated.

Narayen and Apple co-founder Steve Jobs exchanged a public war of words earlier this year, after Jobs published a letter in which he said Flash is the No. 1 cause of crashes on the Mac. Narayen fired back, and said that any issues are the fault of "the Apple operating system."

Adobe's CEO also contrasted his own company with Apple, saying the two corporations have different views of the world. He suggested that Apple has a "closed" view, while Adobe is pushing for "multi-platform."