Adobe needs to buy Palm.

And here’s why.

To screw Apple. It’s clear that no matter how much, begging, suing (this is a bad idea anyways), cajoling, “I’m with Adobe”ing, etc, takes place, Apple has given the one finger salute to Adobe. That’s that. It’s their phone, there’s lots of other handsets for Adobe to play with.

Frankly, as much as I’d love to have Flash on my iPad (not my iPhone though) it’s Apple’s call. I don’t agree, but since they don’t call me to ask my opinion, I assume they don’t care.

Palm is for sale. The Pre is a nice phone, it’s actually frakkin sexy, I dig it. WebOS, isn’t that bad either. If Palm had 1. not gone with Verizon, and 2. listenned to their developer community, and 3. not been retards about brand/marketing/and reach, the Pre would be a huge hit. Instead, Palm is for sale.

Picture this.

Adobe buys Palm. Retools WebOS (or goes android, but I think that’s a bad idea) to be more Flash focused. Basically create a “Flash Phone” Build out a marketplace, somewhere between Draconian Apple, and Hippy-free-for-all Google, for Flash devs to build and sell their apps. SELL. Adobe, you build the market, and back out. Don’t start building your own things and giving them away for free. That screws your community over, cut it out!

Flash Devs have been denied a reliable, useful marketplace… well pretty much forever. Companies like Litl are working on devices to show how awesome Flash apps (Channels) can be, and hopefully help developers make money too. Adobe could easily kill some of their soon-to-be-dead-but-no-one-knows-it-yet projects, and focus on a mobile SDK for Devs to build stand alone “apps” that the “Flash Phone” could run.

Apps that exist as good citizens, outside a browser, as a standalone executable/process. They kill when closed, and don’t burn through the CPU. This is totally possible!

I know I’d buy a Flash Phone (assuming it’s the Pre aka nice hardware) in a heartbeat. I’d want to support the community, but I also think it’s a huge untapped market. Look at the flash content out there on the web! So much could easily become apps.

Flash Devs need to stop giving everything away in the hope of attracting consulting business! Build things people will pay for, and sell them! You guys are your own worst enemy! You’re not helping the community!

So Adobe, if you’re reading this, I know hardware isn’t your thing, but hey, consumer electronics wasn’t Apple’s when they launched the iPod (hardware still was, I know, it’s an imperfect comparison), and they’ve pretty much crushed that market now. You need to give up on the iPhone, yeah I know it’s the pits, but rather than waste time suing, being snarky on stage at MAX, and building hacky work arounds in Flash Pro, move on. You’re bigger than this “Let me in! Let me in!” nonsense. I want Adobe to shine, and rock the house! I want Adobe to do what it does best! Innovate! Build tools that let developers do mind blowing things! Now… Provide hardware for those mind blowing things to live on!

Ok that’s it! What do you think?

10 Responses to “Adobe needs to buy Palm.”

  1. polyGeek says:

    I'm with you. I suggested they get in this space back when I was at XBox working on the Zune. And you are absolutely correct that devs need to stop giving shit away to get consulting gigs. How about charging $$$ for your shit so that you don't have to do any consulting.

    • John Wilker says:

      Yeah consulting is awesome, but it's a 1:1 hours to $. not a long term play really.

      I'd much rather have things coming in and working on new things to add to the pipeline, than hustling for each billable hour

  2. Hey John

    I'm with you on that one ! I actually made a case for it in the comments of this post:

    Actually the best comparison would not be Apple but Microsoft: platforms like Flash or Silverlight are only a means to an end. And today the most successful end seems to be a thriving apps ecosystem on a piece of consumer hardware.

  3. James says:

    As much as I like webOS, I don't think its a good fit for Adobe to buy Palm at all. In fact, I don't think Adobe belongs in the hardware market period. Of course it would give them a sure device(s) to deploy to, but its been Adobe's cross-platform ubiquity that's allowed them to grow (and I don't just mean Flash).

    If there were specific devices, Adobe could either have an improved version of Flash Player for them which would hurt the Flash Platform overall. If Adobe didn't release an improved version of the player, then there wouldn't be a benefit to owning the devices.

    • John Wilker says:

      I'd argue, that an improved version of the player (across all platforms) helps. No need to favor their own devices. Better player helps everyone. the device would be more than just a "Better player". Same as the iPhone is more than just "a phone"

  4. John Dowdell says:

    Adobe's in business of uniting diverse environments, not in creating more fragmentation and silos of its own.

    "To screw Apple" is insufficient logic… would be like "to screw Robert Scoble" or "to screw Paris Hilton". Better to just route around the damage and move on.


    • John Wilker says:

      "To screw apple" that's not what the iPhone compiler in Flash was about? :) That's the impression I was given at most every turn, but that phrase was mostly to be taken as "Get away from this stupid squabble"

  5. Rob says:

    Palm == No Thanks

    Yeah, it's a bummer about Flash not being on IPhone but, really not that big of a deal. HTML 5, related technologies as well as broad support for a open mobile device platform OS will win the day. It will not be the public demanding it; it will be the corporate demand of being able to deploy corporate applications worldwide that are device independent and software company independent (Adobe, Microsoft, and Google).

    The winners will be the company who makes hardware that is user extend-able and that will work in a wide-range of geo corporate environments and also the company that creates the tools to efficiently create device independent applications on a completely open source OS.

  6. Matthew Fabb says:

    I don't like this idea, as I think it's better for Adobe to be device neutral. Right now Flash Player 10.1 is set to come to every major smartphone, but Apple. Would all these companies still be okay with including Flash and possible Adobe AIR, if Adobe was looking to have a device with superior integration?

    Mobile Adobe AIR is set to come on Android in the later half of 2010. According to developers who are on the private beta, Flash apps run a lot faster on the Android than they ever did on compiling them for the iPhone. It seems like the integration is great and these Flash based apps can be added to the Android marketplace like any other native Android app. This is supposedly the first step, next is working with RIM to get Mobile AIR on Blackberries.

    These 2 markets alone are lot bigger than any niche market Adobe could get with their own Flash phone. However, hopefully anyone who buys Palm would see the benefits of getting a wide number of apps by working with Adobe to bring mobile AIR to the WebOS.

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