SAN JOSE, Calif.—A minor controversy is brewing over Apple’s decision not to Flash-enable the iPad, and pornography is front and center in the hissy fit. In this instance, however, the decision by Adobe to use a porn site to help make its larger point is not altogether inappropriate, even if some are calling it desperate.
The iPad, as everyone knows, was only just released, but even before Steve Jobs hit the stage to reveal his new baby’s charms, Adobe was crying foul. Wednesday, on the company’s Flash Platform blog, Adrian Ludwig wrote a post about what not having Flash will mean for people who purchase the iPad.
“If I want to use the iPad to connect to Disney, Hulu, Miniclip, Farmville, ESPN, Kongregate, or JibJab—not to mention the millions of other sites on the web,” he wrote, “I'll be out of luck.”
But that is not the only online content that people will not be able to receive. Thursday, Adobe’s platform evangelist Lee Brimelow posted to theflashblog.com a group of images illustrating the types of content that will not show up on the iPad. Conspicuous in the second row of screen grabs is one for noted porn producer Bang Bros, minus the goodies.
Friday, Wired’s Brian X. Chen wrote, “Though porn is certainly relevant to many people’s web experiences, that’s kind of a desperate move.” He then provided a link to a tweet by his friend, Matt Drance, Apple’s former iPhone evangelist that said, “Adobe has resorted to playing the porn card. It’s over.”
That is a slightly unfortunate comment coming from an Apple evangelist, even a former one, especially condsidering how much money the company makes from Apple fanatics in the adult entertainment industry and the equally fanatical consumers of its products. Adult content has taken to the iPhone like ducks to water; indeed, the device is pretty much responsible for revitalizing (or jump starting!) the mobile sector of the industry. And the iPad itself, Flash or no Flash, is already being touted, albeit sarcastically, as “The Latest in Porn Delivery.”
Steve Tomassetti, in an post by on TMR Zoo, said, “You can go to almost any major news site to find out what the Apple iPad can and cannot do…or still be confused as to whether it will have a camera or not. But what those sites will not answer is what everyone really wants to know: How can I view porn on the iPad?”
Tomassetti concludes that despite its apparent drawbacks—limited storage and lack of Flash—acceptable alternatives remain. “Digital Playground has already announced that they will be providing iPad-optimized streaming on all of their company-owned websites such as digitalplayground.com and jessejane.com," he said. "Many other XXX sites provide mobile device-friendly streaming as well.”
While it is likely that Adobe sees the HTML5 writing on the wall, and may indeed be “playing the porn card” in its determination to keep its product relevant, it is also interesting, if not surprising, to see all the corporate evangelists rushing to denigrate adult entertainment when so many of their products have been so consistently supported—and improved—because of it.