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Virgin America dumps Flash over lack of iPhone support


As the smack down between Apple and Adobe continues, Virgin America has dumped Flash from its website because of the lack of iPhone support. Virgin's new website, which launched Monday, replaces Flash with HTML to give users the ability to check in via their iPhones in the future. Virgin plans on moving their new site to HTML 5, once it's cleared standards ratification at the World Wide Web Consortium.

Virgin's Chief information officer Ravi Simhambhatla told The Register: "I don't want to cater to one hardware or one software platform one way to another, and Flash eliminates iPhone users. This year is going to be the year of the mobile [for Virgin]."

While Apple has left Flash out of the iPhone since it debuted in 2007, things stayed relatively civil between Apple and Adobe. That all changed when Apple unveiled the iPad and decided to leave Flash off that as well. Four days after the launch of the iPad, Steve Jobs held a town hall meeting with Apple employees where he trashed Adobe and Flash, saying, "They are lazy. They have all this potential to do interesting things, but they just refuse to do it. They don't do anything with the approaches that Apple is taking, like Carbon. Apple does not support Flash because it is so buggy. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it's because of Flash. No one will be using Flash. The world is moving to HTML5." Three weeks later Jobs met with the board of the Wall Street Journal where he allegedly talked smack about Flash again, saying Flash is a dying technology and likened it to floppy discs and CCFL-backlit LCDs.

With iPhone sales soaring with no peak in sight, will Flash still thrive without Apple's support? Then again, it's not just Apple that is turning against Flash. Google is openly committed to HTML5 and Microsoft has its own proprietary Flash competitor in Silverlight. Only time will tell if Virgin's dismissal of Flash is a one-off case or the first domino to fall.

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