So, is Flash dying, as Steve Jobs said?

The Apple CEO claims that Adobe Systems' Flash is "waning." Apple's clout gives weight to this argument.

Brooke Crothers Former CNET contributor
Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.
Brooke Crothers

Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently said Adobe's Flash is "waning" and "had its day." Does the iPad and iPhone sales juggernaut make him right?

"Sometimes you have to pick the things that look like the right horses to ride going forward," Jobs said, speaking at the D: All Things Digital conference in Rancho Pales Verdes, Calif., Tuesday night. "And Flash looks like a technology that had its day and is waning. And HTML 5 looks like the technology that is really on the ascendancy right now." (HTML 5 is the technology that the iPad, for example, uses for video in lieu of Flash.)

Jobs continued: "We didn't start off to have a war with Flash. We just made a technical decision."

His closing argument was cogent. "If the market tells us we're making the wrong choices, we listen to the market...(But we) try to make the best products we can. And if we succeed, they'll buy 'em. And if we don't, they won't. So far, I have to say that people seem to be likin' iPads. We've sold one every three seconds since we launched it."

Good point. But I am not yet convinced (and I own both an iPhone and iPad). However, Jobs may win over others if users begin to miss Flash less and less. And that could happen.

The challenge facing Adobe is that Steve Jobs' "technical decision" may actually bring about the slow demise of Flash--at least as we know it today.