note: notice im not talking about flash support for the web but for the creation of applications for Apple's AppStore which is exclusively now using Objective C as programming language.
So, developers have three programing languages and one scripting language. None of this does any good for Flash developers.
So back on track
Careful there, practically all companies dedicated to software development use PC for that purpose with the only exception of their graphic design department where employees are provided with Macs. Im talking about companies because these are the only ones who actually pay for every piece of software they use.
No argument here, but I am not sure what you are getting at with this. Is it that companies buying software would just switch to an all windows environment?
Yes, Adobe would lose money BUT why even try to continue dealing with Apple if they just proved they can turn their back whenever they want without even a good reason(Adobe explained how well flash apps would perform on the iPhone) I mean Adobe even put all this investment and effort to build this tool and now its just gone by a mere chance on the legal agreement...Apple is giving them a hard time so they could instead focus on a safer platform, losing money at first during the transition but there's not only Windows(by far owning the market) but also Android which opens a totally new opportunity for Adobe to grow their market. In the long run Apple might have more to lose here.
Finally, I dont think many companies would find Macs as a good opportunity to sell their software(market share is just way too small) so that hole left by Adobe might take a while to be filled up and even when it does you have to remember that most Designers will not want to learn a totally new tool when they are already familiar with Adobe software and they can still use the creative suite on their macs by simply switching to their Windows virtual install.
I think Apple not giving a good reason is debatable. Allowing development on other platforms turns over the quality and the features that applications support to a third party. When Apple release's new API's or makes changes to API's developers using a 3rd party development are stuck. So, if you are developing in Flash, you have to wait for Adobe to update its software to take advantage of changes until then you are just stuck (There is an irony that people are complaining about Apple's walled garden when in reality Adobe offers nothing but the same. Flash apps will ultimately only support what Adobe will allow you to have.). In addition, 3rd party development tools really just produce lowest common denominator apps. The idea is that you develop in something like Flash and then you have an app that runs on multiple platforms. It is the least amount of work to get an app onto the largest number of platforms but the net result is the consumer doesn't get apps that take advantage of any of the benefits of their chosen platform.
Adobe and Apple also have a long history of working together and as such have had their share of pissing matches and this is one more in that history. Adobe drug its heels getting its apps to Mac OS X and ten years in, they still haven't gotten them to be Cocoa apps and actually take advantage of a lot of Mac OS X's features. There was the argument about giving flash direct hardware support for video encoding/decoding and Apple just allowed that. The reality is people are focusing on the one issue and missing the larger picture. Adobe's cash cow isn't flash, it is Photoshop. Cutting off massive revenue streams from Photoshop, InDesign and After Effects over one Flash on the iPhone would be insane. I also have little doubt that Apple would happily step and are replace them if need be. Without a doubt this would hurt both companies, but in the long run I think Apple would survive. Apple is entrenched in other markets that don't involve Adobe (music creation, video editing) and Apple sells a ton of computers to consumers who's only installed Adobe product is the Flash player. So, while some damage to Apple would happen, it by no means would take out the Mac Platform.
I think theres a lot to think about and the worst part is that consumers are the ones in the middle of the battle field.
Right now, I don't think consumers are being impacted, but if Adobe were to pull some scorched earth policy in response (I would put money on they don't do anything past a lawsuit and I think that is just posturing at the moment) then yes consumers might feel some pain. I don't know if you are Mac user or not but for a lot of us, Adobe just isn't that big of a deal. I don't personally own an Adobe product. I long ago gave up on the company getting their apps to be completely native and for what I really used Photoshop for (I am in no way a power user) there are plenty of great Mac OS X Apps to choose from. The Flash player on the Mac is such an abomination I have installed a Flash blocker. When it comes to iPhone and iPad, I have felt no impact to the current state of consternation between the two companies. It doesn't mean it won't happen, but I does make me think that the whole thing is overblown as an issue.