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Is OLED Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Next Flash Disaster?

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)‘s decision to not allow Adobe Systems Incorporated (NASDAQ:ADBE)‘s Flash technology onto any of its mobile devices was once the buzz of the blogosphere. Steve Jobs’ determiniation to battle for HTML5 and other protocols led to the irritation of many, and the reality that for a period, the functionality of many websites didn’t work on your iPhone or iPad. The company released a comprehensive explanation for its decision, but some consumers probably made alternative purchase decisions because of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s position. You didn’t need to be a huge Adobe supporter to want website content to just work.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)Fast-forward to today, and you have to wonder if Tim Cook’s railing against OLED technology at a recent Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) event is a little bit of history repeating itself. One of the highlight buzzes of this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was the OLED technology demonstrated by Samsung. With capabilities including screen flexibility and near indestructibility, it’s difficult to see how picture quality will compete with the display options that OLED make possible, but until they’re actually available, it’s hard to be sure.

A brief look back at Flash
For a specific period, Adobe Flash was the cornerstone of much of Web design, allowing users to integrate the eye-popping multimedia functionality that allowed one site to stand out from others. One of the central arguments Adobe advanced in favor of its adoption by Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) was the reality that users couldn’t get a “full Web” experience without Flash. Apple countered that alternative options were available that favored mobile devices. Since the height of the battle, and as more and more sites go to a specific mobile version, the issue has become less pronounced. I can’t remember the last time I had a Flash-driven browsing problem. Even so, there is anecdotal evidence that the mess hurt Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), if only very temporarily. All the same, Adobe and Apple seem to still be going strong.

Cook’s mixed messages
Cook recently slammed the picture quality and color saturation of OLED displays, such as those offered on the Samsung Galaxy S III that’s helping Samsung give Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) a serious run for its money. Cook argues: “If you ever buy anything online and really want to know what the color is, as many people do, you should really think twice before you depend on the color from an OLED display.” Not surprisingly, he believes the company’s Retina display is the superior choice and the obvious choice.

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