One of the flagship features of Adobe’s CS5 Suite, direct compilation to iPhone app code, has been rather spectacularly undermined by Apple a few days before release (see Phil Lindsay’s well-written account for the details, and an Adobe technologist’s response to the news).
On the one hand, it’s difficult to believe that Apple would do this with as spiteful an attitude as has been suggested. On the other, I just can’t see what they’d gain from this for all that they would hurt.
One long-held conspiratorial belief for why Flash doesn’t exist on iPhone/iPad is that the richness of media functionality and ease of development/distribution would pose a threat to the iTunes foodchain for native, paid apps.
I don’t like it, but I could at least the commercial justification is clear.
Could this have similar roots?
Maybe as a security measure to guard against ‘non-conformist’ code structures entering iTunes.
Does Apple feel that 3rd party compiled code would be harder to police for policy violations at submission stage?
Does Apple think that a proliferation of development tools would leave them having to mop up developer support for other environments?
All possible, though it would be professional manners to work with a company as respected as Adobe to address these issues in partnership.
One of the most interesting, and more powerful moves Adobe ever made was to open source the Flash compiler / FLEX SDK. There are now great 3rd party tools (such as FlashDevelop) for developers to use if they see fit. Although this might appear to steal from their own revenue stream, the net result is that more applications appear for the Flash platform and Adobe still get to lead the field with their premium software.
Sadly, it seems Apple are doing the complete opposite.
Perhaps an official clarification will emerge from them shortly.