Adobe to End Development on Flash-to-iPhone Compiler in Wake of Apple License Change [Updated]

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Earlier this month, Apple made a change in its iPhone developer agreement that appeared to directly target Adobe's plans to release a Packager for iPhone feature in its forthcoming Flash Professional CS5 application that would allow creators of Flash content to export their projects into native iPhone format. The change resulted in a fair amount of fallout in what is becoming an increasingly strained relationship between Apple and Adobe.

Adobe Flash Platform project manager Mike Chambers yesterday offered on his blog a detailed explanation of his and Adobe's view of Apple's change of heart, noting that while Packager for iPhone will continue to ship in Flash Professional CS5, Adobe is ceasing investments on the feature for the future.

While it appears that Apple may selectively enforce the terms, it is our belief that Apple will enforce those terms as they apply to content created with Flash CS5. Developers should be prepared for Apple to remove existing content and applications (100+ on the store today) created with Flash CS5 from the iTunes store.

We will still be shipping the ability to target the iPhone and iPad in Flash CS5. However, we are not currently planning any additional investments in that feature.

Chambers notes that the Packager feature complied with all of Apple's licensing terms throughout its development, with Apple making the change banning the feature just days before Adobe's official introduction of Creative Suite 5.

Furthermore, Chambers explains that the teams working on the Packager feature implemented a number of technologies that can easily be moved to other devices and platforms, setting the stage for a push into Android-based phones. A number of developers have already shifted gears to port their Flash games to Android, and Chambers himself is shifting all of his personal mobile focus to Android.

Update: CNET reports that an Apple spokesperson offered the following rebuttal to Chambers' comment that "ultimately open platforms will win out over the type of closed, locked down platform that Apple is trying to create":

"Someone has it backwards--it is HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, and H.264 (all supported by the iPhone and iPad) that are open and standard, while Adobe's Flash is closed and proprietary," said spokeswoman Trudy Miller in a statement.

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