Adobe works on Flash for iPhone, as Apple looks to Sprout

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Adobe confirmed earlier this week that work has been progressing on bringing Flash to Apple’s iPhone. Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen made the comments during the company’s second quarter financial conference call, but Apple seems to be moving in a different direction.

While Adobe is working with the iPhone SDK to bring Flash to the iPhone, Apple is working with SproutCore, an open source JavaScript framework the company reportedly used to build MobileMe. Some have even called SproutCore a “Flash Killer,” which may explain Apple’s reluctance to include the technology on the iPhone.

That doesn’t seem to faze Adobe at all. Narayen said the company has a version that works on the iPhone emulator, but they still have work to do as they move it onto the device.

Adobe indicated that Flash may come to the iPhone as an application, but that raises questions on how it would interact with other elements and applications on the phone.

Flash is one technology that users have criticized Apple for not incorporating into the iPhone, but analysts have said they don’t believe it hurts Apple’s position.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been very clear about his feelings on the technology. During the company’s annual shareholders meeting earlier this year Jobs said the iPhone “needs something much better than the current Flash player that Adobe makes for cellphones. The Flash Player option that fits the bill is made for devices like laptops that are larger than the iPhone; as a consequence, it performs too slowly on the iPhone.”

It seems clear that if Apple is adopting SproutCore for MobileMe, they will promote and use the technology on the iPhone. What isn’t clear is where that leave’s Adobe’s Flash and Microsoft’s Silverlight.

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