Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Adobe tries to upstage Steve Jobs

June 7, 2010: 11:00 AM ET

Using an independent advertising platform to get Flash in the iPhone and iPad's back door

Sample Flash ad. Source: Greystripe

Here's an odd twist.

In a press statement scheduled for release two hours before Steve Jobs' WWDC keynote, Adobe (ADBE) has announced that it is teaming up with an independent mobile advertising network to bring advertisements written in Flash to a variety of mobile devices, including Apple's (AAPL) iPhone and iPad and Google's (GOOG) Android phones.

According to Greystripe, which runs a proprietary mobile advertising platform that competes with Apple's iAd platform -- or will, when iAd launches -- the ads will be written using Adobe's Flash authoring tools and then transcoded realtime into HTML5 for delivery onto iPhones and iPads.

This makes sense. Flash, for better or worse, is the standard for developing all those annoying Web ads.

And Greystripe is not the first ad network to offer developers an advertising SDK (software developers kit) to compete with Apple's. Google's AdMob unit announced its own iPad SDK last week.

What's not clear is whether any of this will pass muster with Apple. The company has a review process for iAds, just as it does for applications written for the App Store. If Steve Jobs doesn't allow apps written in Flash and transcoded into HTML5, why would he allow ads produced the same way?

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[Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter @philiped]

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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