Does this screenshot show Flash on an iPhone 3G?

Does this screenshot show Flash on an iPhone 3G?

Ben Wilson

Consider this extreme speculation based on the sly observation of an iPhone Atlas reader (Filipe Guerra) with a shrewd eye. Apple's Web site depicts an iPhone 3G rendering the Lonely Planet Web site. The page renders beautifully, as all HTML does on the iPhone, and looks similar to the way it would in a full-fledged desktop browser -- too similar, in fact: the Lonely Planet home page includes a world map on the left-hand side that makes use of Adobe Flash, but reverts to a non-Flash version of scaled-down browsers. With Flash, the map is multi-toned and can be hovered over with a cursor, triggering animation. Without flash, a monotone map is displayed without animation or interaction.

On iPhones running iPhone OS 1.1.4 or publicly available pre-release builds of iPhone OS 2.0, the map renders, of course, in monotone, non-Flash mode. In Apple's image of the iPhone 3G, however, the map is distinctly rendered in both light and dark blue tones, indicating the use of Flash.

Two plausible explanations exist: the Apple artist who designed this page took a screenshot from a desktop, Flash-enabled browser and scaled it down to generate the image or the iPhone 3G depicted is capable of rendering Flash content.

You be the judge:

The Lonely Planet site in MobileSafari under iPhone OS 1.1.4:

The Lonely Planet site in Safari under Mac OS X 10.5.x:

The Lonely Planet site as it appears on an iPhone 3G on Apple's Web site:

Feedback? info@iphoneatlas.com.