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

80 Comments

  1. dang… I wish we could edit these posts. Here is my message with typos corrected


    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 not follow and stay loyal to 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.

  2. I bet Apple already has “iPhotoPro” sitting on a shelf somewhere, ready to go alpha, should Adobe decide to get a little too pugnacious. They say they’re waiting for CS 3.0 to go UB… I think they should have started with CS 2.3 to have the industry give it a solid test run, so CS 3.0 would be released without out any kinks.

  3. If there is a war, I will choose apple, because adobe is just milking their flagship products, every new version do not represent a major shift from the previous one, nothing new, just two or three new ajust features and a relocation of the old features.

    Adobe betterr side with apple because microsoft is already shooting to their head and apple with the small percentage of the market represent a lot for them.

    Apple is the only company with the resources and the knowledge that can kill adobe and fight a good fight with microsoft in the business area, I do not what is apple waiting, apple should have bougth the Macromedia Xres application just to have for a feature release, but with the Aperture expertise adobe is feeling the apple heat..

  4. I have been a working graphic artist for over 20 years now, and have seen this business develop from the ground floor.

    One thing I have always said: “The day I have to use windows is my last day as a commercial artist”.

    I am now quite well along in my career, as you might imagine.

    I now make the buying decisions. I have a looooong memory.

    Adobe – don’t fsck with us. You. Will. Be. Sorry.

    Period.

  5. Adobe is no friend of Mac or you. Tho Apple put Adobe on the map they have clearly become a PC company.

    Adobe would love to abandon the Mac except that they still sell a lot of Creative Suite packages to Mac users and the Apple is about the only computer company with any real excitement and pro-sales happening.

    Adobe copy protection is THE WORST! I hate them now!

  6. Speaking of iPhoto, I must say the new version with it’s pretty decent (and easy) correction tools has indeed reduced the number of trips I make to PS on a given day/week. If Apple leveraged iPhoto and Aperture to create a really robust pro program, they would indeed be able to compete with Adobe–and think how cool it’d be to have “photoPro” integrated with Final Cut, Shake (or whatever comes next there), and other Apple apps. Right now integration’s becoming a huge advantage for Apple in the consumer software space. If they can work that in the pro software space, they’ll really have something!

  7. *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… *

    To add to my previous post, Qvark Xpres is an example of why you do not fsck with the graphic arts community. R.I.P. Qvark!

  8. Well there are other alternatives to image editing…thye are smaller applications and probably not as sophisticated yet. However, I recall that when Apple acquired Final Cut from Macromedia they also may have gotten something else….called xRes which was a also another image editing application. Although I cannot confirm that they did acquire that…I hope they did. It had some potential.

    However you can look up all the alternative imaging applications on the Apple website: http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/imaging_3d/

  9. For an application like Photoshop, it will cost them thousands, maybe even tens of thousands of dollars to update to a Universal Binary. That’s a lot of money they weren’t expecting to spend, plus hiring engineers that know how to use XCode.

  10. I agree with Poe and Rabid Dog. Adobe has a LOT of work to do to rewrite these very large and complex programs to work natively on Intel chips. This will take some time to complete and I am sure they are doing all they can to complete the transition as quickly as possible; especially since the sooner they get it out to market the sooner they will make millions from Mac customers who have been waiting for quite some time now. Mac users are a significant portion of Adobe’s customers so it would be idiotic for them to alienate them by some ridiculous attempt to “get back at Apple.”

    However, unlike many other applications, a large portion of those who use their software are businesses who use it in their production machines. Adobe must release a very good, stable, fast product with few or no bugs or they will be skewered in the marketplace. So, they must work as quickly as possible through this big transition while ensuring the product is released only when it is ready.

    My 2 cents.

  11. “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.”

    I’m with that post. Adobe definitely has more in common with Microsoft than with Apple. It’s sad, but true.

    I hope Adobe is listening, because the feelings expressed here today have been around for at least a year or two now….

  12. I agree with Poe and Rabid Dog. Adobe has a LOT of work to do to rewrite these very large and complex programs to work natively on Intel chips. This will take some time to complete and I am sure they are doing all they can to complete the transition as quickly as possible; especially since the sooner they get it out to market the sooner they will make millions from Mac customers who have been waiting for quite some time now. Mac users are a significant portion of Adobe’s customers so it would be idiotic for them to alienate them by some ridiculous attempt to “get back at Apple.”

    However, unlike many other applications, a large portion of those who use their software are businesses who use it in their production machines. Adobe must release a very good, stable, fast product with few or no bugs or they will be skewered in the marketplace. So, they must work as quickly as possible through this big transition while ensuring the product is released only when it is ready.

    I believe Microsoft is in this same position with respect to its Office product. I don’t expect that to ship anytime soon either.

    My 2 cents.

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