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Adobe: Row with Apple over Flash is over

CEO Shantanu Narayen predicts Android tablets will overtake the iPad

Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen has drawn a line under his company's row with Apple over the lack of Flash on the iOS platform.

Speaking on stage at the D9 conference hosted by All Things Digital Narayen also said that Apple's dominance of the tablet market would soon come to an end with tablets based on Google's Android coming to the fore.

Narayen was interviewed by The Wall Street Journal's Walt Mossberg, who asked him if Adobe and Apple were "done having the argument" over Flash. His response: "Absolutely".

In fact, the argument was never really about Flash technology itself, said Narayen, but Apple's control over the iOS platform. Last year Steve Jobs had blamed Flash for being the most common cause of crashes among Mac OS X systems and said that it was unsuitable for mobile devices.

At the time, Narayen had responded by saying Mac OS X was the more likely cause of most Flash-related crashes and that his company's philosophy was to create tools for developers that worked for multiple platforms. This philosophy was incompatible with Apple's single-platform outlook, he argued.

Despite drawing a line under the row, Narayen argued that Adobe's approach was still very much multi-platform and said that applications compiled in Adobe AIR can be easily converted for iOS.

Narayen went on to explain that Android-based tablets would begin to overhaul Apple's iPad in the tablet market. "What you saw with smartphones hitting an inflection point with Android, you'll see it again with tablets. There will be another 20 tablets that will come by the end of the year that will push the industry in different directions," he said.

HP's TouchPad and RIM's PlayBook would make big inroads in the enterprise market, Narayen said, and that there was also a future for tablets with styluses.


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