Apple is in conflict with Time Warner and NBC Universal, among other media conglomerates, over the iPad's lack of support for Adobe Flash. The media companies are refusing to pay the costs associated with converting their content into a Flash-free format to run on the bestselling Apple tablet, according to a New York Post article, which is cited at the root of the pushback. These companies may also have their own content-distribution plans that make them more reluctant to plunge feet-first into the Apple ecosystem. Apple and Adobe have been fighting a back-and-forth for some months over Flash's role on the Web.
Time Warner and NBC Universal are pushing back against Apple, according to
reports, with both companies refusing to reformat their media libraries into an
Adobe Flash-free format capable of running on the bestselling iPad tablet.
to a May 27 article in the New York Post
, one media executive indicated
that the upcoming Google TV, which ports Internet video content onto a user's
television, could weaken Apple's position as a high-tech media portal.
Time Warner and NBC Universal have apparently been joined in the pushback by
other media conglomerates, which go unnamed by the Post. The expense of
converting existing media libraries to a Flash-free format, the article
suggests, is a key motivator behind that resistance. Time Warner could also be
concerned about its own plans to provide content through online channels.
Other media companies, including Disney (where Apple CEO
Steve Jobs sits on the board) and CNN, have been more accommodating, providing
content in an HTML format supported by the iPad.
Although Flash supports rich-content playback for many of the Web's most
prominent sites, Adobe has found itself playing defense in the past few months
against Apple, which prohibits Flash from its popular mobile devices such as
the iPhone and iPad.
"Flash has not performed well on mobile devices," Jobs wrote in an April
letter titled "Thoughts on Flash" and posted to Apple's
. "We have routinely asked Adobe to show us Flash
performing well on a mobile device, any mobile device, for a few years now. We
have never seen it."
Adobe responded with a substantial public-relations effort. In a February
conversation with eWEEK, executives from the company insisted that Flash would
remain ubiquitous on the Web, and that the porting of Adobe Flash Player 10.1
onto Android and other smartphone operating systems would ensure the brand's
relevancy as the tech world increasingly focuses on mobile. General
availability for Flash Player 10.1 is now expected by June 17, according to
offered eWEEK a beta version of Flash Player 10.1
, loaded onto a Nexus One
smartphone running the prerelease version of Android 2.2, dubbed "Froyo."
Testing was limited to WiFi, thanks to the device's lack of SIM
card. In testing, the Flash Player 10.1 beta seemed to offer robust battery
life and smooth streaming video and animations, but long load times on many
Websites could frustrate some users.