The Orange View (on hiatus) Because Apple is great but it isn't perfect


Demise of flash good for iPad competitors

There's a great Monty Python story about the making of the "Holy Grail" movie. Asked how they came up with the idea of banging coconut shells to simulate horses, the gang explained they didn't have the budget for real horses. The story explains so much about why Hollywood blockbusters stink but also applies to other creative endeavors. A lack of resources forces a certain creative pressure than can be thwarted by too much money.

I was reminded of that story today after reading that Adobe is giving up on Flash for mobile devices. Steve Jobs famously hated flash and didn't allow it on iPhones and iPads, likely sealing its doom.

But Apple competitors like Samsung and Motorola tried to make the flash video players on their tablets a key point of difference. RIMM's Playbook even used the slogan "all the Internet." The problem was consumers cared little about flash compatibility. This great advantage that all these marketing campaigns focused on was an illusion.

And that's why the demise of mobile flash is good for tablet competition. It was an easy but ridiculously weak crutch to set yourself apart from the iPad. And it's notable that Amazon barely mentions flash at all in marketing the Fire. Now some smarter innovation - like Python's coconut horses - will be required from the rest of the field.

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Posted by Aaron Pressman

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