browsing the web with the iphone is an interesting experience. it certainly is nice to be able to access the web from anywhere, and the interface with the rotating display and the zoom feature makes many web pages surprisingly useful (even though most of them contain just too much text). naturally, some of the web 2.0 sites are completely inaccessible due to the interaction limitations of the iphone. and of course, all java and active x based sites are unusable as well. but well-designed web sites tend to be pretty easily usable.
but until today, web pages often have been designed with some (and often too many) assumptions about the clients, assuming that clients will be standard browsers running on standard computers. many developers even went so far to take certain screen sizes or client-side technologies (such as flash) for granted. the iphone changes that, in Optimizing Web Applications and Content for the iPhone, apple basically describes the areas where the iphone deviates from the current web client mainstream. the most important areas are user interaction (touch screen instead of mouse) and the lack of flash.
flash-based sites never were and never will be real web content. flash violates basic web architecture principles and has mainly been used by designers who don't understand the web, want to work based on a convenient closed-world assumption, and can get away with this because they have project managers who don't understand the web as well. flash's inaccessibility has often been put aside as a minority problem raised by overzealous standards nerds. with the advent of flash-less mobile clients, however, it will become more apparent that it makes more sense to publish web content using web technologies, rather than to make adobe rich.
and very likely content providers running flash-based web sites will soon be able to see that an increasing number of requests are coming in from iphones, then leaving the site instantaneously. i hope that google analytics and similar services and tools will very soon make that behavior as easily recognizable as possible, so that it becomes apparent that flash actually hurts a web site's impact.
well, announcing the death of flash certainly has quite a bit of wishful thinking on my part to it, but at the very least the iphone will make even the most clueless project manager reconsider some of the design-happy flash-based web sites which are still often being marketed as a smart way of building a web site.