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EU Could Force Apple to Put Flash on iPad, iPhone

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 86 comments

The EU could force Apple to play nice with Adobe's Flash. Not only that, but Europe could insist Apple's iTunes syncs with all devices, not just iPods and iPhones.

The European Union's Digital Agenda is an effort to foster openness and interoperability across the technology industry leading to improved user experience. The document, along with comments from EU commissioner Neelie Kroes, has led several news outlets to report that, while the EU's new legislation will have a huge effect a lot of companies, Apple in particular could be affected in a major way.

Daily Tech cites the Agenda as changing the necessary language from 'dominant' to just 'significant' with regard to what companies can be subject to scrutiny over abuse of their market position:

"Since not all pervasive technologies are based on standards the benefits of interoperability risk being lost in such areas. The Commission will examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information while at the same time promoting innovation and competition."

Daily Tech goes on to say that if the Digital Agenda is approved, it could give the EU the power to force Apple to allow Flash on its devices, as well as allow non-Apple devices to sync with iTunes.

Rethink Wireless quotes Kroes as saying it's not about going after companies like Microsoft, Intel or Apple, but offering consumers a choice:

"We need to make sure that significant market players cannot just choose to deny interoperability with their product. This is particularly important in cases where standards don't exist... This is not just about Microsoft or any big company like Apple, IBM or Intel. The main challenge is that consumers need choice when it comes to software or hardware products."

Read the full story on Daily Tech.

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Top Comments
  • 27 Hide
    house70 , July 6, 2010 11:19 PM
    oh, sweet justice...
  • 26 Hide
    matt87_50 , July 6, 2010 11:45 PM
    kerbe360I so disagree with the EU. What happened to making Flash stable enough to run on the iPad and iPhone? Where is Apple's right to decline subpar products on their products? If Adobe wants Flash on iPhones and iPads so bad.... make it better!


    *cough* iphone 4 antenna *cough*

    its not about flash being a sub par product. I'll say it slowly so people can understand, JUST BECAUSE STEVE SAYS IT, DOESN'T MAKE IT SO. on the other hand, lots of flash DEVELOPERS are sub par. but then ffs! just look at the quality of most the apps you have to pay for on the phone!! this excuse is BS.


    the EU's ideas might be heavy handed. but

    "Since not all pervasive technologies are based on standards the benefits of interoperability risk being lost in such areas. The Commission will examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information while at the same time promoting innovation and competition."

    is EXACTLY right! and why I get so enraged when Apple people brag about how into 'innovation' and 'standards' they are.
    besides it only sounds stupid because of the way it was said, it sounds like they will be forcing apple to go around and implement a flash player them selves, and make itunes compatible with every mp3 player on the market. thats a bit much... all they need to do is force Apple to ALLOW someone to make flash player for these things, force them to ALLOW mp3 player makers to make their stuff work with itunes. Apple doesn't have to do anything then, they just have to STOP being wankers!

    "force them to put flash on the iphone" no... but force them to ALLOW apps developed using the Adobe flash -> iphone app functionality, the clause put in there specifically to block this is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! it would not only apply to flash, but also things like unity as well.

    "force them to make itunes sync with other devices" again, no, that makes it sound like it is Apple's responsibility to make it so every mp3 player is compatible. again it should be "force Apple to NOT go out of their way to BLOCK competitors from syncing with itunes" as was the case with Palm, where they went to such extreme lengths as to break the USB standard (oh yes, they are sooo into standards...)
  • 23 Hide
    nukemaster , July 6, 2010 11:35 PM
    where is the browser ballot screen for osx?

    To add to this, who here thinks its not all about keeping app store games selling? that's why there is no flash.
Other Comments
  • 27 Hide
    house70 , July 6, 2010 11:19 PM
    oh, sweet justice...
  • 12 Hide
    mbmcavoy , July 6, 2010 11:21 PM
    The Automotive and Oil companies are using their dominance to squeeze out the used-cooking-oil producers. Solution: Require all gasoline vehicles to also run on bio-diesel!
  • 23 Hide
    nukemaster , July 6, 2010 11:35 PM
    where is the browser ballot screen for osx?

    To add to this, who here thinks its not all about keeping app store games selling? that's why there is no flash.
  • 21 Hide
    loneninja , July 6, 2010 11:43 PM
    What's next, Intel and AMD require socket compatibility?
  • 15 Hide
    reconspartan , July 6, 2010 11:43 PM
    I don't buy Apple stuff but EU is wrong again
  • 5 Hide
    willgart , July 6, 2010 11:44 PM
    kerbe360I so disagree with the EU. What happened to making Flash stable enough to run on the iPad and iPhone? Where is Apple's right to decline subpar products on their products? If Adobe wants Flash on iPhones and iPads so bad.... make it better!


    If I follow you, we have to remove the iPhone 4 from the market because its a bugged device? we have to stop using all the software in the world because they are bugged?
    and where is the problem if flash crash under iOS and not under Windows? maybe Apple make something wrong and they are aware about this weakness which is demonstrated by Flash...
    So let the user selecting the product they want in their devices, who are Apple to choose what I need? are you god?
  • 26 Hide
    matt87_50 , July 6, 2010 11:45 PM
    kerbe360I so disagree with the EU. What happened to making Flash stable enough to run on the iPad and iPhone? Where is Apple's right to decline subpar products on their products? If Adobe wants Flash on iPhones and iPads so bad.... make it better!


    *cough* iphone 4 antenna *cough*

    its not about flash being a sub par product. I'll say it slowly so people can understand, JUST BECAUSE STEVE SAYS IT, DOESN'T MAKE IT SO. on the other hand, lots of flash DEVELOPERS are sub par. but then ffs! just look at the quality of most the apps you have to pay for on the phone!! this excuse is BS.


    the EU's ideas might be heavy handed. but

    "Since not all pervasive technologies are based on standards the benefits of interoperability risk being lost in such areas. The Commission will examine the feasibility of measures that could lead significant market players to license interoperability information while at the same time promoting innovation and competition."

    is EXACTLY right! and why I get so enraged when Apple people brag about how into 'innovation' and 'standards' they are.
    besides it only sounds stupid because of the way it was said, it sounds like they will be forcing apple to go around and implement a flash player them selves, and make itunes compatible with every mp3 player on the market. thats a bit much... all they need to do is force Apple to ALLOW someone to make flash player for these things, force them to ALLOW mp3 player makers to make their stuff work with itunes. Apple doesn't have to do anything then, they just have to STOP being wankers!

    "force them to put flash on the iphone" no... but force them to ALLOW apps developed using the Adobe flash -> iphone app functionality, the clause put in there specifically to block this is COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE! it would not only apply to flash, but also things like unity as well.

    "force them to make itunes sync with other devices" again, no, that makes it sound like it is Apple's responsibility to make it so every mp3 player is compatible. again it should be "force Apple to NOT go out of their way to BLOCK competitors from syncing with itunes" as was the case with Palm, where they went to such extreme lengths as to break the USB standard (oh yes, they are sooo into standards...)
  • 9 Hide
    war2k9 , July 6, 2010 11:49 PM
    Go EU show apple who's the boss.
  • 9 Hide
    Pyroflea , July 6, 2010 11:58 PM
    I think it's ridiculous that Steve Jobs puts his ego ahead of compatibility. I hate Flash too, don't get my wrong, but that's no reason to have your products not run the majority of websites properly. It's not websites' jobs to make compatible websites for iProducts, but that's exactly what's happening. It's not right.
  • 0 Hide
    lcsper , July 7, 2010 12:02 AM
    Quote:
    Nanny government. If I were at the helm of Apple I would just leave Europe because it's obviously run by a bunch of day care sitters saying "now Apple... you can't have that good syncing system as an advantage... that's not fair"


    Hey if it makes my iPhone play Flash I wouldn't mind your "nanny government". Sure, pushing Microsoft to force people to choose their browser because they were too technologically ignorant to find their own favorite browser was a little much, but it does promote fair competition. The thing is, Apple can't just leave Europe, if they did that would be disastrous. And besides, Apple's iTunes is a terrible syncing system, just look at how many other syncing tools are out there.

  • -4 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2010 12:07 AM
    Excellent! I'm a massive Apple user and I HATE that they don't allow Flash on the iPhone/iPad. I'm backing the EU on this one.

    As for all the haters who don't want flash on their iphone - simple just don't use it!!!

    As for forcing Apple to make mp3 players compatible - that's a bit too far.
  • -4 Hide
    deathknight01 , July 7, 2010 12:13 AM
    What authority does the EU have over an American company? This just doesn't make any sense. Sure I hate Apple for not supporting flash and having it on their portable devices but it's their choice, if they choose to lose customers for not having support for flash then that's their choice right?
  • -3 Hide
    micr0be , July 7, 2010 12:14 AM
    I LOVE EU
  • 7 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2010 12:14 AM
    All the EU is trying to do is give consumers the choice to choose. It's called freedom! If you don't want flash then you don't have to put it on your phone. But the choose should be yours to make, not Apple's choice. I am an iPhone user I've had the last 3 iPhones, but because I enjoy Freedom, I've been forced to jailbreak my phones in order to run apps Apple has deemed unworthy, these unapproved apps are great! Without jailbreaking I would never by the iPhone. Apple acts as a dictator, telling the consumer what's best for them and not allowing anything they dissapprove of. Apple doesn't even have a good reason for not allowing certain apps like Google Voice, and other apps the don't like they make up some lame excuse.
    I applaud the EU for looking out for the consumer.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , July 7, 2010 12:14 AM
    Whether Flash is used everywhere or not, forcing inclusion is dumb and a terrible precedent.
    If Apple's devices such without Flash than the market will prove they are wrong.

    Using this stupid logic all browsers and HTML engines in the past should have been forced to add implementations for all those terrible MS externsions since it was used everywhere too.
  • 6 Hide
    icepick314 , July 7, 2010 12:17 AM
    if EU forced MS to take out IE and allowed options for other browsers to be installed, then I don't see why they can't force Apple to make iTunes play nice with other music player and put flash on iPhone/iPad/iPod
  • -2 Hide
    wotan31 , July 7, 2010 12:21 AM
    PyrofleaI think it's ridiculous that Steve Jobs puts his ego ahead of compatibility. I hate Flash too, don't get my wrong, but that's no reason to have your products not run the majority of websites properly. It's not websites' jobs to make compatible websites for iProducts, but that's exactly what's happening. It's not right.

    How is it any different from Microsoft and their broken IE6 browser? IE6 was so closed and proprietary, it deviated from the published HTML standards to an extreme extend. Hundreds of companies developed web apps that now ONLY work in IE6. They don't work in IE7 or IE8 or Firefox. Why? Because IE6 did not adhere to the published standards. Yet there were no fines or legal actions from that disaster. Not yet at least.
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