Time for Apple-Autodesk partnership?

“I have long, long been of the opinion, that Apple (AAPL) should take a crack at the enterprise market, and in doing so, it should penetrate through the CAD / PDM niche. Apple’s extremely loyal user base of creative professionals can find a great encore in the industrial designers, mechanical designers, and architects,” Sramana Mitra writes for SeekingAlpha.

“So far, however, Apple did not look strong enough to go after the broad enterprise market. In fact, DNA-wise, I still don’t think they would,” Mitra writes. “However, Graphics and Design related applications are very much in their sweetspot, and CAD is a large enough niche, that an Autodesk-Apple partnership would be just splendid for both players!”

Mitra writes, “And today, boy, does Apple look strong!”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Nathan” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Note: Autodesk’s last release of AutoCAD for Macintosh was Release 12 in June 1992. From what we hear, AutoCAD has become a morass that’s hopelessly enmeshed with Windows; a total ground-up rewrite would be required for a Mac version of AutoCAD. By the way, Autodesk’s current market value is just $9.37 billion.

A guide to 2D/3D Graphics & Animation software for Apple Macintosh is here.

Related note: Architosh serves a worldwide audience of Macintosh-based CAD/3D and AEC professionals and students: http://www.architosh.com/

Related MacDailyNews article:
Autodesk requests AutoCAD for OS X feedback – May 05, 2003


  1. If only AutoDesk would get off their high horse power trip and realize the Mac is not a toy. The problem is the institutional bias there against Macs, but who knows – their stock options trouble seems to be more serious than Apple’s and might involve a change of management that will be seize the day when it comes to an Apple partnership.

  2. Apple should innovate and dominate the CAD/CAM/3D arena with hardware and software.

    Bring it down for the rest of us can use.

    Imagine the explosion of 3D game worlds and characters that would occur if artists could be artists and not be computer science majors.

    And the horrible “gaming cards” Apple uses for it’s computers pales in comparision with the video muscle cards available on the PC side.


  3. i do not care if it is either Revit or Architectural Desktop…Autodesk must bring either to OSX. I think bringing Revit to OSX would be easier than brining Desktop. Desktop is just way to intergrated into windows. Also..from what i hear running Desktop in Bootcamp works good

  4. I’m a big fan of Vectorworks…

    It’s got a decnt user base, especially in the entertainment field.
    We all us the Spotlight module for Lighting Design. and VW and renderworks for Stage Design.

    Cue anectdotal info:

    This tour I’m on has 20 or so laptops. 3/4 are Macbook or MacBook Pro’s.
    Only custom software is running on 4 windows laptops…

  5. We’re a free-lance residential furniture design office and I can tell you that 99% of our client manufacturers use AutoCAD. While there are some other great CAD software apps for the Mac out there–VectorWorks, Canvas and Graphite–if Autodesk were to offer AutoCAD for the Mac again, I’d have a yard sale for the PCs on our network. There is no logical reason for AutoDesk not to support the Mac platform. It would be good for growing their marketshare and obviously great for Apple.

  6. Those suggesting a buyout should reconsider: $9.37 Billion for “a morass that’s hopelessly enmeshed with Windows”, plus yet more to make it a viable Mac product. Heck, for that kind of money one could create a “clean sheet” competitor, built to modern programming standards, market the hell out of it, drive Autodesk into “Also Ran” status, and still have plenty of money left.

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