The evidence seems clear at this point: much like the iPhone and iPod touch, the Apple iPad will lack support for Adobe's Flash technology. Don't expect that situation to change anytime soon, either. Wired has gotten some choice quotes from an internal "Town Hall" meeting at Apple's headquarters, and it sounds like CEO Steve Jobs is banking on HTML5 supplanting Flash as the de facto standard for web video.
Jobs reportedly made the following observations about Adobe in general and Flash in particular:
They are lazy, Jobs says. 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, he says. Whenever a Mac crashes more often than not it’s because of Flash. No one will be using Flash, he says. The world is moving to HTML5.
Apple had to quietly update iPad promotional videos that showed the built-in browser rendering Flash content last week. Meanwhile, Adobe didn't take long to slam the iPad, saying Apple continues to "impose restrictions on their devices that limit both content publishers and consumers."
HTML5 certainly looks to have the potential to replace Flash for online video, especially now that Google has rolled out an all-HTML5 alternative version of YouTube. But there is one roadblock. While both Apple and Google are backing H.264 as HTML5's video codec of choice, Mozilla would rather see the (still-unfinished) standard use the free Ogg Theora codec. Right now, the YouTube HTML5 site currently works in Chrome and Safari but not Firefox. Web developers hoping to ditch Flash could get cold feet if that fragmentation persists.
Speaking of Google, Wired says Jobs also ranted about the search giant, calling its famous "don't be evil" motto "a load of crap" (or another, less polite term, depending on who you ask). Jobs complained that Apple didn't get into the search business, yet Google got into the phone business and wishes to "kill the iPhone."