Probe into Apple’s Lack of Flash Support Deepens

The European Union has joined the FTC in its ongoing investigation regarding Apple’s decision to not support Adobe Flash on its iOS-powered devices. Apple’s stance has been codified in the form of a strongly worded, open letter from Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs earlier this year and it looks like unless some regulatory action is taken, Flash will never appear on the iOS platform. Why does Apple not want Flash? Well he basically thinks that it sucks and lays out a long list of reasons as to why, to cut a long letter short.

Regardless of whether or not you hold the same viewpoint as Jobs on Flash, you have to admit that Adobe is still struggling to get Flash onto smartphones. Besides the built-in Flash support in the Android OS 2.2 (Froyo) update that is slowly coming out to Android-powered devices, many Android users still do not have access to Flash. Not to mention the lack of Flash for BlackBerrys. iPhones, Android OS smartphones and BlackBerrys are the big three. Unless Adobe gets its game together for Android and BlackBerrys and gets out its long promised support, it could be left in HTML5’s dust. And guess what? BlackBerrys might not have Flash yet, but they do have a strong HTML5 browser in OS 6.

So why is the EU joining the FTC in a probe of Apple? Well, remember way back when the EU slapped some pretty hard penalties on Microsoft? The EU and the FTC see Apple as the big dog, and a side effect of Apple’s success, decisions to block certain technologies, and closely held control over what software it allows to run on its mobile platform are all things that should be reviewed—at the very least to avoid the appearance of partiality.

Do you think that Apple is going to get slapped around by the FTC and EU when they finish their investigation and release their findings? Does Apple deserve to be forced to open up the platform to other technologies? I know you have an opinion, let me hear it.

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