Apple has finally responded, if you can really call this quote a response:
Look's like it's a smackdown!
I consider Apple's argument bunk. HTML5 is not a final spec yet. The canvas element, which is supposed to replace Flash, isn't even fully fleshed out. Even though some browsers claim to support it, it's impossible when the spec isn't even finished yet. Apple is sticking to a party line which is based on a falsehood. Once HTML5 is complete, then the argument is valid. Until then, Flash is a de facto standard for interactive content on the web.
Why doesn't apple raise a stink about GIF or refuse to display images in that format? Unisys held the patent through 2006, and continued development on the format well past that, meaning they may still have the ability to exercise their claim. Yet Apple doesn't refuse all image formats except the PNG.
I just expected more from a company like Apple, who has cried foul in the past when its products have seen their market curtailed by third parties, or has filed its own frivolous lawsuits (for the GUI, which they stole from Xerox PARC). Compare with its recent lawsuits against Nokia, HTC, Verizon, etc.
I agree with most of what you have said, but keep in mind one thing: even if HTML5 is not a spec yet, it doesn't mean it's not a valid dev "platform".
The history of web development is fully of examples where browser vendors supported specs that were not yet final. Sites that follow the current form of HTML5 have been and will continue to be built—of course, they will only work in certain browsers!
You are correct, it is a valid development platform, but I don't consider it a valid customer-facing platform. Not yet.
Much as I loathe Flash, its 99% install base is far greater than the Safari-only proto-HTML5 support.
I am really curious to see how this looks a year from now.
Bency, your comment smells of comment spam. If you think that "the closed system that Apple is trying to create is bad for the industry, developers and ultimately consumers" is true, why do you link to a web site to find iPhone and iPad app developers?
I'll give you a couple hours to respond, and then I'll remove your comment. Frankly, I'd rather find a way to leave your comment and mark it as link spam to push it down in the rankings, but sadly, I cannot do that.