Apple may face legal inquiry on Flash snub

Those of you who follow Apple news may know that with the release of iPhone OS 4.0, Apple added a clause in their terms and conditions that all software written for iPhone OS must written “directly in C, C++, or Objective-C” and developers can no longer “call any private APIs”. Effectively, this new barrier from Apple was a shun of Flash, blocking developers from using adhoc Flash on the iPhone/iPad (neither the iPhone or the iPad officially support Flash, and probably never will).

In reaction Adobe mentioned in the footnotes of their recently released financial statement that they [Adobe] may take a financial hit because of Apple’s decision to not have Flash on the iPhone/iPad (and companies do not include such a footnote unless there is a good chance of it coming true) and has announced that they [Adobe] will stop developing iPhone OS related Flash code. Of course, both Adobe and Apple have also “exchanged words.”

Now, the New York Post reports that the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission “are locked in negotiations over which of the watchdogs will begin an antitrust inquiry into Apple’s new policy of requiring software developers who devise applications for devices such as the iPhone and iPad to use only Apple’s programming tools”. For those that don’t know, an “antitrust inquiry” basically means that Apple is being accused (or will be accused, if the inquiry goes forward) of purposely and illegally reducing market competition.

I find it very interesting that Apple may face legal action as a result of their Flash snub; I really didn’t think about it in terms if anti-competition when I first heard Apple announce the change – I simply thought of it is as tech giant vs a tech giant. However, I can see why it may be considered antitrust; and I really do hope Apple is held accountable. I am not an Apple hater or fanboy, per se, but I do believe Apple seems to be the only corner of the love triangle that has not come under the legal microscope (comparatively speaking); they are a bit too arrogant for my taste.

As a side note, Adobe has proclaimed that they will now focus all of their efforts for making Flash fully compatible with Android (Google’s open source smartphone OS); and Google has announced an Android update – to be released in June – will bring full Flash support.

Any thoughts on the matter? Feel free to share below in the comments.

Thanks Samuel!

[via Gearlog]

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