Never bet against Steve Jobs. Flash is dead – Long live HTML5!

In an official announcement, Adobe’s official announcement, Danny Winokur, Adobe’s VP and general manager of interactive development, wrote:

“HTML5 is now universally supported on major mobile devices, in some cases exclusively. This makes HTML5 the best solution for creating and deploying content in the browser across mobile platforms. We are excited about this, and will continue our work with key players in the HTML community, including Google, Apple, Microsoft and RIM, to drive HTML5 innovation they can use to advance their mobile browsers.”

In speaking about the desktop, Winokur said, “We will continue to leverage our experience with Flash to accelerate our work with the W3C and WebKit to bring similar capabilities to HTML5 as quickly as possible, just as we have done with CSS Shaders. And, we will design new features in Flash for a smooth transition to HTML5 as the standards evolve so developers can confidently invest knowing their skills will continue to be leveraged.”

Remember what Steve Jobs said in April of 2010?

Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice. Flash is a successful business for Adobe, and we can understand why they want to push it beyond PCs. But the mobile era is about low power devices, touch interfaces and open web standards – all areas where Flash falls short.

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.

New open standards created in the mobile era, such as HTML5, will win on mobile devices (and PCs too). Perhaps Adobe should focus more on creating great HTML5 tools for the future, and less on criticizing Apple for leaving the past behind.

um wow.

Steve Jobs truly was a visionary and we still miss him.

HTML 5 is now the King. The dispute has been is over. With Windows 8, Microsoft showed a lot of foresight and jumped on the HTML 5 bandwagon really early.

Smart move.

About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. ( and The Redmond Cloud (

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  • 1234568

    Apple never supporting Flash contributed largely to it’s demise. With this in mind I don’t think this is the best example of great insight by Steve Jobs. It just shows the power that Apple has in determining future technology and trends.

    • Onuora Amobi

      At the time when he said it, it wasnt that obvious that Flash was going to go away…seems like foresight to me.

      • KonanYao

        No it is not foresight, it is just a demonstration of how evil Apple has become and how strong the reality distortion field of Jobs was.
        If I have billions and power over medias, and i announce that a product will be dead in a close future, then i do whatever i can to kill this product, is it foresight ?
        Or let’s take another example, if i lead a country with a very powerful army and then i announce that a weaker country will be destroyed in a close future just before starting a war with it, is it foresight ?

        • Bron

          Apple did not set out to kill Flash. Even if Steve did have some personal issues with Adobe, that’s no reason to kill a product. Apple just didn’t support Flash on its products because they realized that it was an inferior plugin for the mobile platform especially.

  • LeeAnne

    “um wow.Steve Jobs truly was a visionary and we still miss him.”

    Yeah. Stating the obvious is one thing but doing that when you’re famous makes one a visionary. 

    Also, nice job with the “Flash is dead” title. Tabloid like journalism at its finest. Flash on mobile device is dead, on the desktop it’s stronger then ever.

    • Onuora Amobi

      For now… 🙂 Lets talk in one year…

      • LeeAnne

         You’re wrong now and you’ll be wrong in a year too. With the improved 3D capabilities in Flash Player 11 they’ll take browser gaming to a whole new level, If you think it will be dead in a year  I suggest you stop writing these sort of articles because you clearly have absolutely no knowledge on the matter

        • Onuora Amobi

          To be clear, Flash will be around for a while but it will be regarded as a media legacy tool. I mean that when developing a project from start with a fresh budget, very few will be starting out planning to use flash. Going forward, it will make more sense to use HTML 5. Browsers will handle HTML 5 a lot better and it just wont make sense.

          Adobe themselves see the writing on the wall so it seems like you have a lot more confidence than the vendor does??

          • KonanYao

            Sor’y my friend, i think that Leeane is right, you do not seem to know what you are talking of.
            First of all, flash is much more than a plugin. Flash is also a development platform which enable developpers to develop also develop both html5 code and native apps. So i guess that Adobe give up the flash plugin for mobiles, because it can save money and can focus on the aspect of flash which bring it money while having an equivalent of the flash plugin which can almost provide the same capabilities. Unfortunately, for the majority of mobiles users whom devices can support flash, html5 can not support all the features of the flash plug in.

            Second, Steve jobs was not being a visionary when starting its cabal agaisnt flash, he was just expecting that the medias and the blog belonging to the Apple cult, would help him undermine flash because he didn’t want that flash enable developpers to build directly applications which would not be sold through the App store. He was just being greedy and fully confident of the “power” he had on so called media whom lack of objectvity and foresight is strongly disappointing.

            Third, i suggest that you get more informed about what you are talking of or speak to/interview the right person.

          • Bron

            I agree with Onuora, I mean, HTML5 is not complete now, believe me, I know, but as Onuora said in a year or so from now it will be much more developed. And if HTML5 continues to grow at the rate at which it is growing, it will soon be more powerful than Flash. 

            Also FYI, most people in the tech world when talking about Flash are referring to the plugin. Maybe you should be more informed about what you are talking about….

    • KonanYao

      I agree.
      And in fact flash on mobile is only dead as a plug in.
      As long as flash can be used to produce html5 code and native apps for mobiles (and yes include the iPad and the iPhone), flash will never been dead for whatever platform.

  • Jwk6

    This is purely an example of a self-fulfilling prophecy.  Any developer or IT person worth his salt has been saying Flash sucks and/or should die for years.

    • Onuora Amobi

      True but no CEO’s had the balls to agree (and take the heat) before Steve did.

  • KonanYao

    No he was not.
    Like he was wrong when he tried to destroy Android.
    And flash is far from dead especially as i don’t see html5 doing all the things that flash or silverlight can do anytime soon. Moreover, Adobe does have tools to convert flash code to either html5 or native applications.

  • Stevejobs

    Some visionary, right. What killed him?

  • xinu

    This is not a matter of Steve Jobs being this brilliant visionary, but rather a good strategist. Steve loathed flash, and wanted things to be the way he wanted them. He used Apples iOS platform to accomplish this. Flash is not dead because its a bad product, flash is dead because apple didn’t like it.  I got an android tablet over apples ipad so I could enjoy the full wealth of online content, such as music and video streams, and I have not noted that Flash eats into the memory of battery life of my device. Im not sure whether I like the fact that flash is “dead” just yet. Only time can tell, whether HTML 5 will provide a strong alternative for flash. Right now I’m not convinced it will.