It’s an old adage that Kevin Lynch can surely appreciate now: If you can’t beat them, join them.
Lynch, who is leaving Adobe to work at Apple, spent the past eight years at the software company, including the last five years as the technology chief. During that time, he warned the iPhone maker that it risked losing customers unless it started supporting Adobe’s Flash software. Lynch singled Apple out as the only smartphone maker to shun the video player.
“People will start to see that as a capability they’d like to have and not understand why it’s not there,” Lynch said in an interview in February 2010.
Three months earlier, he told an audience of techies in San Francisco that Adobe can bring Flash to the iPhone, but it “requires cooperation from Apple to do that.”
Steve Jobs wouldn’t budge, sticking to his view that Flash was buggy and a battery killer.
Fast forward three years: iPhone sales have jumped six-fold. The division recorded revenue of $78.7 billion in 2012, 18 times as much as Adobe’s total sales. Adobe has given up the fight, choosing instead to develop on HTML5, a standard supported by all major web browsers.
Now, Lynch, who will be reporting to Apple Senior Vice President Bob Mansfield, will need to get used to another saying that’s popular in Cupertino: Steve is always right.