I’m curious, what led them to make that design decision?
Was it due to iPhone release deadlines? (i.e. did they just want to get the product out the door as soon as possible, and other features will be added later, via SW upgrades?)
Or, was it deliberate? (e.g. someone may develop a skype-like client in Flash, and they don’t want that to happen because they don’t want people doing VOIP over WiFi?)
In any case, has Apple stated whether they want to eventually add Flash support or not?
This article addresses your questions pretty thoroughly.
A lot of things seem to be missing from the iPhone… 3G support, MMS messaging, third-party software, custom ringtones, etc. Honestly, the only thing innovative about the phone is the touch screen. The phone lags behind in every other area of cell phone technology, so it’s really not surprising that Flash is missing.
The new iPod Touch is going to have some kind of association with YouTube, so it’s going to have Flash support as a key part of its intended appeal.
But the current iPhone works with Youtube.
… then surely it must play Flash.
Apple recently convinced Google to start offering its YouTube videos in an H.264 format that can be accessed by both the iPhone and Apple TV. The obvious reason for moving to H.264 video rather than using Flash is that Flash requires decoding the video on a general purpose CPU using the Flash/On2 software codec.
This codec doesn’t exist for Apple’s ARM-based iPhone architecture, but more importantly, both the iPhone and Apple TV can decode industry standard H.264 videos using their specialized decoding hardware, requiring less power than a software decoder and leaving the general processor free to do other things.
It sounds like they have found a work around to doing that.