Apple and Adobe at war?

“Over a year ago on June 6, 2005 Apple announced that it would move to replace Motorola chips as its core CPU and switch to using the industry standard Intel chip, which every other PC uses. On January 10 this year Apple launched the new Intel based computers onto the market,” The Business News Source writes.

“In order to facilitate the transition to the new Intel platform Apple released an update of its developer software that would allow companies like Adobe to ship updated versions supporting both the older Motorola chips and the newer Intel chip Macs, called a Universal Binary application,” The Business News Source writes.

“Photoshop is one of Adobe’s flagship programs, but allegedly sales on the Mac side have been stalling as users [continue to] wait for the Universal Binary version. Adobe has indicated that this may not be released until next year, a full year and a half after the announcement of the Intel switch,” The Business News Source writes.

The Business News Source writes, “Meanwhile, Apple has released a major update of Aperture, its professional photographic production workflow program, beating Adobe to its own game, in its core market. Adobe has a similar program Lightroom, but it’s still a beta release and isn’t likely to go commercial until next year, by which time Apple will have established itself firmly in that market.”

“So, some see the delay of Universal Binary versions of software in the Apple market as being a way of punishing Apple for entering its core market. And sending clear signals to Apple that it is not happy with the situation. Certainly the release of Contribute 4, a major update, and not providing support for Apple’s new platform indicates one of two things, either Adobe lacks the skills and engineers to carry out the transition, or perhaps that it will not move to Universal Binary apps for anything but its core applications,” The Business News Source writes.

“We think that this is a serious miscalculation by Adobe, although Apple only has less than 4 percent of the global PC market share, it is estimated that they represent between 40 and 50 percent of the shipments of Photoshop. Apple customers are remarkably loyal to Apple and if Mr. Jobs feels forced into going ‘head on’ with Adobe over Photoshop releasing an Apple equivalent then the market for Photoshop would likely collapse in a few months. Apple already demonstrated that the technology built into new Macs with Quartz Extreme and Core image would make developing a similar product to Photoshop trivial for Apple,” The Business News Source writes. “Any loss in the media market will be for Adobe, not Apple.”

Full article here.
Adobe needs an attitude adjustment. There’s no excuse for making a large portion of your users – the very users of the platform that made your company, by the way – wait for so long to run your products natively.

Related articles:
Analyst expects Adobe Creative Suite 3 release on May 1, 2007 – October 04, 2006
How long must we wait for Adobe to produce Universal applications for Apple’s Intel-powered Macs? – August 21, 2006
Adobe CS3 sneak peek shown on Apple MacBook Pro as Universal Binary application – May 25, 2006
Cringely: Apple must replace Microsoft Office, buy Adobe Systems for attack on Microsoft to succeed – April 28, 2006
Adobe CEO: Universal version of Photoshop due in spring 2007 – April 21, 2006
Adobe software engineer explains why Photoshop for Intel-based Macs is taking so long – March 24, 2006
Should Apple buy Adobe as leverage against Microsoft? – December 16, 2005
Adobe prefers (and promotes) PCs over Macs – March 24, 2003


  1. Well….. I’m not sure trivial quite describes creating something like Photoshop, but certainly it’s doable if Apple has the will to do it. Would be pretty ironic if Apple released some Photoshop-like program before Adobe got round to fixing their version!

  2. No doubt the problem is that Adobe should have started the Migration to XCode a long time ago, but waited until it was a requirement. Now instead of only having to recompile their apps and performa bit of tweaking, they have to completely rewrite more than a decade of legacy code to bring it up to date. When they are done, I’m sure the entire Creative Suite will be much better off for it, but expect the first version to be buggy as all hell. Essentially CS3 will be more like a 1.0 release.

  3. Well, if adobe wants to jump the gun and not produce for apple.

    The there are many alternatives in the open source that beat of match the best of adobe.

    Apple could just pick one of them and sell it the mac way.

    We really don’t need that bloatwer software from adobe.

    my two cents!

  4. you know..I’d hate to much as I love Apple and their products..but I think Adobe fans are as hardcore as Apple fans..and if push came to shove, Adobe fans will follow photoshop wherever Adobe goes…even PC Vista.

  5. “”So, some see the delay of Universal Binary versions of software in the Apple market as being a way of punishing Apple for entering its core market”

    So the writer has no proof for his comment that they are at war, he is just speculating that they are because UB photoshop isnt out yet.

    I guess thats the new journalism. Inventing news.

  6. I’ve been watching my wife struggle with Adobe indesign, should be called indigestion, and it’s such a mess compared to the simple elegance of Quark…

    Makes me think there has got to be a market for a simpler and cleaner app to compete with PS.

    And I’m ready to avoid all Adobe products from now on.

    They are arrogant, bloated, and their products are no longer elegant or cutting edge.

  7. In all fairness to Adobe, it is not a trivial job to convert all their applications to Universal Binaries.

    Remember, almost all of their apps have been around for a long time and therefore can’t do the conversion as effortlessly as an application built using Apple’s own tools. Not to mention their fondness for bundling everything into suites, creating the need for simultaneous release.

    Having said that, I wish Adobe had never bought Macromedia, because if they were still competitors, we would then have a situation of Adobe and Macromedia trying to beat eachother to market with their Universal Binaries.

    Ultimately, I hope Adobe is worried about both Apple and Microsoft as competitors, because, lets face it, who else is there to get them off thier butts?!

  8. This article is flamebait

    The Intel switch caught everyone by surprise, including Apple because they beleived IBM could continue to deliever G5 processors.

    Adobe is working on a completely new version of Photoshop. It makes little sense to release a Universal version of CS2 when Apple provided the Rosetta enviroment that is running CS2 reasonable well until the new multi-threaded version of CS3 arrives.

    You see the entire programming industry is altering their code to be more multi-core friendly and powerful.

    Big programs take more time to convert.

    Adobe is now very happy that Apple is on Intel processors. Adobe only has to code for one processor family now and compile for both OS’s at the same time.

    So really we are not waiting for a Universal Version of CS2, but a brand new, OS neutral, version of CS3.

    Stand by to be happy. You’ll still have to work.

  9. gman,

    I’d have to disagree. I have never in my life met an Adobe fan. Not once. Plenty of people who use Adobe, of course, but not one “fan” that has loyalty to Adobe separate from Apple.

  10. gman I think it’s a bit complex. Yes Adobe users are very loyal but I would bet that most of those loyal Adobe users are also Mac users and I doubt they’d go over to Windows.

    Most graphic designers love Adobe and Apple…the two go together really well.

  11. I had my say on this a couple of days ago. The author and MDN echo my opinions. I don’t believe Adobe customers are as “hardcore” as you think, gman. Customers, in general, will follow a company that shows them disrespect and disdain. Adobe isn’t punishing Apple with their footdragging. They are punishing you and me, and everyone else on the Mac platform that uses their products to make a living. People can say PS is complex and they needed the time, but why is the newly release Acrobat not Universal? A lot of people assume it is, but I can find no evidence from Adobe that it is.

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