Thursday, June 02, 2011, 09:10 pm PT (12:10 am ET)
Adobe CEO downplays Flash, iOS feud, says Android tablets will dominate iPadAdobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said Thursday that the argument between Apple and his company over the lack of Adobe Flash on iOS is over, while also predicting that tablets running Google's Android will eventually overtake the iPad.
Narayen made the comments in an on-stage interview with journalist Walt Mossberg at the D9 conference hosted by All Things D. When asked by Mossberg whether "Adobe and Apple are done having the argument" over Flash, the executive said, "Absolutely."
Apple CEO Steve Jobs and Narayen engaged in a public war of words last year. Last year, Jobs published an open letter accusing Adobe Flash of not having "performed well on mobile devices." Narayen fired back with his own letter dismissing Jobs' comments as a "smokescreen" and blaming "the Apple operating system" for crashes that Jobs had attributed to Flash.
During Thursday's interview, Narayen asserted that the disagreement between the two companies hadn't ultimately been about the technology. "It's a business model issue, and it's about control of a platform," he said.
Narayen continued to stress Adobe's multi-platform strategy, noting that applications compiled in Adobe AIR can be easily converted for iOS and Apple's App Store. According to the executive, Apple has been approving such applications because it "still has control of the business model associated with it."
The Adobe chief touted the fact that his company will have 130 million phone devices that run Flash by the end of the year. However, Mossberg responded by interjecting that he had "yet to test a single one where Flash works really well,"
Narayen compared himself to "a kid in a candy shop" working with companies producing non-iPad tablets. I think the community is vibrant. Im really excited, he said.
"There is more power on these devices now than when we delivered Photoshop on a PC several years ago," Narayen said. "So we are clearly betting on these devices not just being consumption devices but also productivity devices for our community." Narayen promised that Adobe would bring all of its creative applications to tablets.
Just as with smartphones, Android, which supports Flash will eventually hit "an inflection point" with tablets and overtake the iPad, Narayen predicted. He also sees HP and RIM gaining traction with tablets in the enterprise.
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