Chief Engineer, Mike Chambers Explains Why Adobe Had to Kill Flash for Mobile

Adobe announced that the company has finally decided to bid adieu to its once-upon-a-time popular tool – Flash for mobile platforms. The news came in as good newsfor Apple, since the tool falls short in the area where the mobile era is bound to – Less battery usage, touch interface and open web standards.

Adobe’s chief of developer relations Mike Chambers explains us clearly why Adobe decided to end Flash for mobile platforms

The decision to stop development of the Flash Player plugin for mobile browsers was part of a larger strategic shift at Adobe, one which includes a greater shift in focus toward HTML5, as well as the Adobe Creative Cloud and the services that it provides.

Flash Lacks in Universality

Mike states that “the Flash Player was not going to achieve the same ubiquity on mobile as it has on the desktop.” He also added that (and mainly points out), since HTML5 is widely accepted across all platforms, and the fact being that Apple’s iOS is not going to allow Flash in the browser, it is very much understood and observed that the tool will never achieve the same universality on mobile as how it achieved on the desktop.

Adobe Kills Flash on Mobile Platform

He stresses on the point that even if Adobe continued with Flash, there was no way that Apple would adapt the tool on their iOS anytime in the future. This clearly indicates that the move to kill Flash comes after an intolerable pressure from Apple for excluding Flash on iOS.

HTML5 vs. Flash – HTML5 it is

It’s a known fact that HTML5 is universally accepted and supported by most mobile browsers, and having a strong base with strong
HTML5 - Flash
support on smartphones and tablets, this enlightened Adobe that Flash would never be able to compete with the latest standards of HTML. This is one of the main reasons why Adobe decided to kill Flash, and as Mike stated – Adobe is now more focused toward HTML5.


Making Flash work on mobile platforms effectively, requires Adobe to have resources more than what is expected. This means that the Adobe had to work with multiple hardware manufacturers like Motorola and Samsung, Mobile OS vendors like Google and Apple along with component manufacturers (like Nvidia). That would take considerably much time. “This is something that we realized is simply not scalable or sustainable.”

However, Mike does not mention about how Apple’s users were affected and what led the company to exclude Flash from iOS, which in fact is the reliability and battery drain life.

Although Adobe suffers with the death of Flash for mobile platforms, they still have a ray of hope since Flash for desktop platforms are very much alive and kicking. Having said that, it’s uncertain what the future of Flash (for desktop platforms) would be, since the widespread acceptance of HTML5 may perhaps lead the way for Adobe to ultimately kill Flash on all platforms.

And to what Steve Jobs said  and expressed his thoughts on  Flash  way back in April, 2010, is pretty much true –

The avalanche of media outlets offering their content for Apple’s mobile devices demonstrates that Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of web content. And the 250,000 apps on Apple’s App Store proves that Flash isn’t necessary for tens of thousands of developers to create graphically rich applications, including games.

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Joel Fernandes

Joel Fernandes (G+) is a tech enthusiast and a social media blogger. During his leisure time, he enjoys taking photographs, and photography is one of his most loved hobbies. You can find some of his photos on Flickr.He does a little of web coding, and maintains a tech blog of his own - Techo Latte.Joel is currently pursuing his Masters in Computer Application from Bangalore, India. You can get in touch with him on Twitter - @joelfernandes, or visit his Facebook Profile for more information.