PBS’s Robert X. Cringely is reporting that Apple was “quietly shopping around its entire professional application business to prospective buyers at the recently completed National Association of Broadcasters show in Las Vegas. These include Aperture, Final Cut Pro, Logic, and Shake — applications that are hardly also-rans in their segments and none of which are antiquated in the least. Final Cut, of course, absolutely dominates the video editing business.”
Cringely wonders, “Why would Apple want to give that up?”
“Apple’s recent hardware successes have come at the expense of Dell and HP,” Cringely writes. “If that’s the case, then the typical Wall Street drone would say, ‘Why not kill the professional apps, since they seem to no longer even be necessary for Apple’s success?’ In Wall Street’s quarter-to-quarter perspective, selling off Apple’s professional applications makes perfect sense. Except that Steve Jobs tends not to think quarter-to-quarter so much as decade-to-decade. This is a guy with a LONG horizon, which is why he appears, frankly, to be the only one of his peers with either a plan or a clue. As Jobs did with the iPod and iTunes and now with the iPhone, he is setting the standard and most Apple competitors are mainly waiting and reacting, which is hardly a way to lead anything.”
“Apple’s decision to not yet ship systems with Blu-ray drives or even support third-party or external Blu-ray drives in its professional applications has caused consternation in the $4 billion event video industry… This has hurt Mac sales and Final Cut sales, and since Steve Jobs isn’t stupid it is probably deliberate,” Cringley writes.
MacDailyNews Take: Come now, Mark, er… Robert, has it really hurt Mac sales and Final Cut sales? If so, please quantify the “hurt” and do so with something called “proof” (for once).
Cringley continues, “There is only one real reason why Apple would sell off its professional applications and that’s to avoid antitrust problems when/if Apple buys Adobe Systems… While in my opinion the Apple video software is clearly better, Jobs couldn’t be at NAB trying to sell Premiere — software he doesn’t yet own. Maybe there’s a planned bait-and-switch, seeing who is interested in Final Cut then trying to shift them to Premiere.”
More in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: We’ve long hoped that Apple would buy Adobe and — drumroll, please — begin phasing out Windows versions of applications a la Shake. You want Photoshop? Get a Mac. Illustrator? Get a Mac. Dreamweaver? You know what to do. It’s time to start driving the stake through Microsoft’s cold, shriveled, black, non-beating heart. Even if Steve doesn’t want to be that ruthless yet, at least Mac users would get much more timely updates from Apple than from Adobe. Unlike Adobe, Apple knows how to use Xcode.
Apple is currently worth $158.52 billion and has nearly $20 billion in cash on hand. Adobe’s current market value is just $21.41 billion. Pull the trigger, Steve!
[UPDATE: 5:31pm EDT: “This rumor is false. Competitors have been trying to spread it around for a few months now. Apple’s Pro business is thriving and it is not for sale. Period. Steve” – Comment posted below in Reader Feedback (stamped May 02, 08 – 05:13 pm) from “Steve Jobs” did indeed come from an Apple Inc. IP address in Cupertino, CA. We’re not saying it is from Mr. Jobs, but it did come from Apple.]