Adobe Sends Mixed Signals About Flash Lite For iPhone

Posted on February 18, 2009. Filed under: Adobe, Apple | Tags: , , , , |

There’s been mixed signals lately about whether Adobe Systems Inc.’s (ADBE) popular Internet-based media player will soon be compatible with Apple Inc.’s (AAPL) iPhone.

It seemed the longtime partners just two weeks ago were set to end their 20- month stalemate. At the time, Adobe’s Chief Executive Shantanu Narayen said in a television interview both sides were “collaborating” to merge the world’s most popular smartphone with Adobe’s so-called Flash Lite.

But Monday, Adobe released a new Flash Lite version that can play high definition videos, and by all appearances the player is still incompatible with the iPhone. It’s clearly good enough for other phones, however. Strategy Analytics, a market research firm, on Monday projected some version of Flash Lite will have been shipped on 1 billion cell phones by the end of March.

On Tuesday, an Adobe spokeswoman refused to comment when asked to confirm if Apple and Adobe were working together. “It’s important to note,” she added, that Adobe needs more from Apple to succeed than Apple ordinarily makes available to iPhone software developers.

Adobe’s fortunes are more tied to Apple, so it has more to lose should it continue to be shut out of the iPhone. Apple, though, continues to face questions about its relationship with Adobe in light of the Adobe/iPhone standoff.

“We think Flash availability on the iPhone benefits the millions of joint Apple and Adobe customers, and we want to work with Apple to bring these capabilities to the device,” an Adobe spokeswoman said. “Adobe is still committed to bringing Flash Player to the iPhone.”

An Apple spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

Apple shares closed Tuesday’s trading down 4.7% at $94.53, while Adobe fell 3.3% to $20.40.


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