By now, every techie under the sun knows that Apple Inc. (AAPL) chief executive Steve Jobs has issues with Adobe (ADBE) and its Flash software. Some of the highlights of the Apple leader’s open letter on Flash include how its performance, reliability and security are all shoddy. All are reasons that Apple has decided not to support Flash on the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. But a recent survey of Apple iPad users indicates that Steve Jobs may have missed the mark when it comes to his AAPL customers and Adobe Flash. According to ChangeWave research, the top complaint among the first Apple iPad owners is the lack of Flash capability on the AAPL device.
Of the top iPad gripes in a May survey of 153 new iPad owners, 11% named the lack of Adobe’s software as their top turnoff. A smudge-prone screen (an obvious problem with a device one must put their greasy fingers on all day) and problems with Internet connectivity tied for the next most common complaint at 9%.
It’s worth noting that, on the whole, the iPad is knocking it out of the park, according to ChangeWave anyway. About three out of four new iPad owners report they are “very satisfied,” and another 17% report that they are “somewhat satisfied.”
Still, it must be said that Adobe Flash complaints are the No. 1 fault consumers are finding with the product. While the enthusiasm over the iPad is strong right now, the device is benefiting from a bit of a honeymoon and pent-up demand. If Apple wants to see staying power out of this device, the company surely will go back to the drawing board over the next few months to refine its product.
If the initial trends reported by ChangeWave take root in the broader population, that means it could be in the best interest of Apple to install Flash on its portable devices. It may be a bitter pill for Jobs to swallow, but better for the CEO to lose face than for Apple to lose as other electronics companies race to compete with the iPad.
As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own positions in any of the stocks named here.
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