Tuesday, 3 April 2007

Adobe's CS3 UK pricing

Adobe have just released their new Creative Suite 3 packages. The Web Premium edition has upgrades to several pieces of software I already use such as Photoshop, Flash and Acrobat as well as containing a few extra bits that would be very useful. Unfortunately the pricing just seems ridiculous.

It isn’t uncommon for US companies to set their sterling prices to be numerically close to their US dollar counterparts despite exchange rates but how can they justify these massive price differences for software?

  • Adobe CS3 Web Premium US: $1599 (£809)
  • Adobe CS3 Web Premium UK: $2344 (£1195 - ex VAT price)

I actually wanted to upgrade from Macromedia Studio where the pricing is even more disproportionate:

  • UPG from Macromedia Studio 8 to CS3 Web Prem US: $499 (£252)
  • UPG from Macromedia Studio 8 CS3 Web Prem UK: $1048 (£534)

Software media and packaging can be manufactured anywhere in the world so there are no extra shipping costs involved so how can these prices be justified?

The following quote from Adobe’s chief exec seems to sound like since buying up their main competitor (Macromedia) Adobe think they can charge whatever they want.

"Our customer is not typically price sensitive," Chizen said last week. "The cost of the tool isn't what's critical -- it's the productivity and what their output can be. They want to pay for value as long as we deliver innovative features that allow them to be more productive and creative."

There is another article on ZDnet highlighting the £1000 difference for UK customers buying the CS3 Master Collection. Adobe’s excuse here isn’t very convincing.

"Adobe sets pricing in each market based on customer research, local market conditions and the cost of doing business. The costs of doing business in European markets are significantly higher per unit of revenue than in the US. Pricing is higher in Europe on many goods, not just software. Adobe sets/evaluates pricing with each release, and has reduced up the delta [price differential] when possible."

I’m now investigating ordering CS3 from the US. Even if I can’t get it shipped over I could probably still save some money by flying across the Atlantic to pick it up myself.