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Apple's Flash Killer

There has been a lot of buzz lately about Apple's sudden and powerful push for HTML 5 adoption in place of Flash content. I think that the real issue is lost in most of the discussion. Here's my take on why they're doing it.

1. The "Silver Bullet" Toolchain
Apple has been moving a lot of it's development tools and platforms towards web-based models. Dashboard widgets are all built with HTML/CSS/JavaScript, embedded iTunes rich content such as the iTunes LP format are all thinly wrapped web pages. The only thing standing in the way of the web-based design flow becoming the ubiquitous silver bullet is rich, interactive content. For that you need Flash, and Apple is not willing or able to integrate Flash development into Dashcode's toolchain.

2. Integrated Advertising
Flash content bogs down page loads, and advertisers have paid big money to produce those bandwidth hogs. The average user doesn't come across enough useful Flash content to warrant it's use, especially on mobile devices. This is a big problem for advertisers who spend huge sums of money on dynamic content only to be blocked by a rapidly expanding portion of the market.

Apple's HTML 5 showcase is unambiguously directed towards advertisers. Apple is, in a sense, scrathching their own itch here. They are at the forefront of "cool" advertising, and they don't want to rely on a third party platform to deliver their slick visualisations.

3. Big Content
Apple has emerged as one of the major digital content providers in the world. They have done this by ensuring that content providers can deliver their content through Apple's platform in a safe and very profitable manner. Adobe has not offered content providers equal assurance with Flash content.

YouTube has already announced that they will be offering streaming movie rental options. I'm sure that Apple has plans to do similar things with streaming H.264 content, but they have no intention of doing it within a Flash container.

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