When the iPad was introduced early last year, forecasters expected Apple would sell 4 million in the first year. By the end of September, 7 million had been sold. Yesterday, in Apple’s quarterly financial report they revealed they had sold over 7 million more. Market research firm iSuppli said it expects iPad shipments to increase to 36.5 million in 2011 and 50.4 million in 2012. But this post isn’t really about the iPad. It’s about Adobe Flash.
Like most designers, I use the Adobe Creative Suite in my work. Recently, I upgraded to the most recent version. So when I received an email message from Adobe that linked to a features video, I clicked through to see it. But I couldn’t. You see I was using my iPad at the time. The Adobe video was in Flash and the iPad doesn’t support Flash.
This wasn’t the first time I encountered a dead end using the iPad to view internet content. Many entire websites are built in Adobe Flash and the iPad simply doesn’t load them. I don’t want to get into the debate about whether Apple should have the power to kill an established technology. But by releasing a product with an incredible market response that doesn’t support Flash, they may have done just that.
What the iPad does best is deliver internet content. I jump to it for almost anything it’s capable of doing. Some things I use it for are personal like choosing a restaurant. Lots of restaurants have Flash websites. When I encounter one, I move on. If you use Flash on your website, consider that. And consider the numbers. There are millions of iPads out there and they continue to sell at an astonishing pace. How many of your potential customers have them? How many move on when they encounter your Flashy website?
Arguments continue among website builders as to whether the use of Flash is still viable and sustainable. My own clients have made it clear they don’t want it and the iPad is the reason. RIP Flash.