Adobe explains Aussie CS5 pricing

Adobe explains Aussie CS5 pricing

Summary: Adobe has responded in a letter to the editor on the issue of the disparity in pricing between the US and Australia regarding its new Creative Suite 5.


Dear Editor,

You recently wrote about the launch of Adobe Creative Suite 5 (CS5), the biggest product release in Adobe's history — spanning five suites, 15 applications, five services and approximately 85 million lines of code.

We are very proud of CS5, and believe it is going to add enormous value to our extensive customer community in Australia, New Zealand and globally, by broadening their ability to bring their creative concepts to a range of media and saving time and money through faster, easier execution. CS5 epitomises Adobe's promise to revolutionise how the world engages with ideas and information.

In your article, you highlighted the area of pricing outside of US and why that pricing appears to differ between markets. We wanted to respond to this as Adobe takes seriously its commitment to making sure all customers, wherever they are, have access to Adobe's tools as equitably as possible.

We establish our prices for Creative Suite products in US dollars, Australian dollars, Euros, Yen and British pounds on a regional basis using a consistent methodology which takes into consideration local market conditions, how we deliver and support our products in that market, and local market research.

Local market conditions significantly influence our pricing. These conditions include the costs of doing business in different regions. In Australia and New Zealand, as in many other countries outside North America, we conduct the majority of our business through our retail and licensing channels.

We depend on our retail partners in local markets to help us reach as many customers as possible, support those customers, and much more. In the Asia-Pacific region, we set prices in US and Australian dollars, and generally try to avoid price changes through the product life cycle.

In fact, the pricing for CS5 offers good value for our customers in a number of areas:

  • It is now more cost-effective for customers to move from a suite, to the entire Master Collection — we have lowered the price of this by 20 per cent

  • The full price for Design Standard is lower than for CS4
  • For existing suite customers, we have lowered upgrade prices by 5 per cent
  • Special pricing is available for Acrobat Pro customers who wish to move to Creative Suite
  • We also continue to add astonishing innovation to our products, adding new value to the suite without increasing the pricing. For example, in CS5 we have added Flash Catalyst to CS5 Design Premium, Web Premium, Production Premium and Master Collection.

In addition, CS5 customers can enjoy five online services, free of charge for the first year. We believe these innovations, together with the value represented by the quantum leap product features now available in CS5, make it genuinely good value for those professionals who will be using it.

What Adobe delivers to creative professionals, is mission-critical software. Our products are priced appropriately for the value that is delivered, and to reflect the investment we make in research and development; as well as the cost of bringing the software to markets globally including Australia and New Zealand.

Kind regards,

Calum Russell
Group Marketing Manager, ANZ

Topics: Software, Government AU, Software Development

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  • A very nice letter which highlights how 'great' CS5 is, but doesn't actually address why the Australian version costs so much more. Australian's don't get any extra features, no extra bells or whistles, and no ponies.

    It costs more because of the "retail partners in local markets"? Is Adobe saying that retail partners are insisting/forcing Adobe to post higher RRP's for Australia?
  • So the question still remains, Why is it cheaper to buy it in the US and import it to Australia then it is to buy it locally? Does they US not have some strange overhead that we do in Australia? Perhaps the government is taxing Adobe's software at a higher rate then other software? Is it because the software is delivered into store on the back of magical unicorns? Maybe it's to cover to cost of providing training in al retail channels to ensure that we Australians get the best possible and most knowledgeable customer service in the world, I will be able to walk into Officeworks and the person putting the boxes on the shelves will not only be able to tell me the advantages of upgrading to CS5, but will provide training on how to use the new feature, and technical support when my puny Australian mind implodes whilst attempting to use it myself. Thanks Adobe!
  • Recently Corel released version X5 of their drawing package. I received an upgrade offer through their US office and Australian. Both emails offered identical product for download but US was US$199 and Australian was AU$399. I bought the one from US and a friend one throguh Australian site - no difference whatsoever in the software other than the proce.

    Adobe on the other hand makes it harder to buy online from the US store and they are simply "charging what the market will bear" nothing more nothing less. This is just a rort. If its any consolation I believe that UK pricing from Adobe UK is just as unfair for them as it is for us - when CS4 was released UK actually paid slightly more for the suite than we did in Australia.

    Either way Adobe is ripping clients off - no excuses - you all want global economy than start acting like one!
  • Nonsense spin and fluff...same old same old.

    I agree that every market is different and most certainly understand that smaller markets would perhaps need to pay a sightly higher price than the likes of the US. But how is it that so many other software providers are able to only moderately increase the price of their products for availability in Australia, when Adobe seems to attempt to justify almost doubling the price for a product that is relatively expensive form the start? Surely if your adapting to local market conditions this would also involve smaller local operations(staff, offices, local network infrastructure, etc) so as to not need to charge so much more.

    Adobe has been rorting people for years, both on price and updates to address well established issues with their software. There are many ways to easily import these kinds of products from the US.

    But then again, it does seem to be these days that the bigger you get, the blinder you become.
  • Calum,

    That was an excellently worded piece of fluff. Well done. You have not justified your exorbitant prices in any way.

    This price difference is well over the top. In Aus we are used to paying slightly more for physical goods but Adobe doesn't even have the advantage of throwing "shipping costs" in as a reason for the price difference.

    Get your head out and JUSTIFY the costs.
  • Just the kind of meaningless marketing-speak we've all come to expect from Adobe - it's like listening to a robot that spits out the same reply no matter the question. I've been using Adobe programs since 1989 and this is just another example of how increasingly out of touch with their customers the company becomes with every year that passes. Here I am, 21 years later, and I have to endure basic problems inDesign and Photoshop like crashing on quit (this is a well-known common problem), every upgrade is just another bolted-on bunch of bloated and useless functionality which further confuse and muddy the programs, the interfaces are still an old-fashioned mismash, and to top it off, I'm being charged hundreds of dollars more than the US for upgrades for no other reason than to put money into the coffers of obsolete middlemen. The days of printed manuals, boxed product and local support are long gone (in the case of manuals, it's a great shame, as the online documentation is a complete joke).

    The arrogance of going on and on about their 'astonishing innovation', when Adobe's programs have well-documented and common problems with speed and reliablity - that's what I find astonishing. Customers are crying out for less bells and whistles and more solutions to basic software issues.

    The time for some serious competition to Adobe's stranglehold on the graphic design industry - some *real* innovation beyond a few filters - is long overdue.
  • The way Adobe extract money from customers makes Apple look well behaved. No wonder Apple won't play nice with Adobe. There's only enough room for one bully.

    Seems like Adobe have issues with the cost of distributing software in Australia. Perhaps a few talented warez peddlers could provide Adobe with a more efficient distribution channel. :-O
  • So, of course, we can therefore buy it directly online from Adobe for the lowest possible price, right?

    Buying online takes away all possible reasons for the increase, so it'd be a lot cheaper, right?
  • Good news, everyone! I realised I missed a crucial point in my above comment!

    Re: "Our products are priced appropriately for the value that is delivered..."

    Of course, how silly of me! We pay more in Australia because we are getting *more* value! The Adobe man said so. We should all stop complaining now.

    Crisis over...
  • I think the title of this article needs to be amended to something like "Adobe avoids explaining Aussie CS5 pricing" because it is clearly misleading at the moment.
  • I don't usually side AGAINST big corporates as many do but in this case I'll make an exception.

    The question is the variance in cost to the consumer and why it is so. Mr. Russell, I'm sure, needs to parrot the company line and I find it fascinating that HE is left to answer the question rather than a FINANCE person or the parent in San Jose.

    Adobe ANZ cannot justify the excessive cost so it hasn't done so because if it could it WOULD have!

    An approximately 9% currency variance exists at the moment and that has an effect. but international corporations hedge against currency fluctuations. Granted, we have 10% GST which must be on the price as listed. In CA people would have to pay Sales Tax over and above the list price but those ordering direct from outside of Cali don't and many will pay local Sales Tax as I would have in New York at 8.25%.

    Staffing costs in the IT world vary greatly and I would suggest that these are HIGHER in CA than in OZ. Sure, shipping costs, but a 40' container stacked full of product means the unit shipping cost is NEGLIGIBLE!!!!! They may even produce the packages in a third country in any case so cost variance is ZERO! Retail costs too are SIGNIFICANTLY less in ANZ than in the US.

    And here's ANOTHER handy MARKETING tip Calum...the cheaper it is the MORE people will buy it! With software that ALSO means the FEWER people will feel the need to COPY it!! THEN you MIGHT be able to sell us on your outstanding backup and support services!!!

    So tell is again ...why IS it more expensive here...or perhaps the ANZ CEO doesn't have control over the financials and needs to be replaced??? Better yet, let's just all order our versions from the cheapest supplier and get them to shut down Mr. Russell's operation here in ANZ due to lack of demand!
  • Adobe....... why make dishonest people out of us?

    How can it be more expensive here for me to download the s/ware...... you are stealing from us. Price it sensibly and people will buy.

    I'll have to get friends in the USA to post the disk to me.
  • Are Adobe claiming the software purchased by non-US customers is actually different somehow?
    Is the spelling correct (English instead of American)? Are the defaults metric (SI) units instead of that crap from the 19th century?
    It certainly wasn't the case last time I bought Adobe's software (fortunately I don't need to upgrade to the latest versions every time).
    Anonymous reader
  • Adobe: If you want piracy of your products to continue then the best way to make sure of that is to keep ripping us off.
    Mel Sommersberg
  • //For existing suite customers, we have lowered upgrade prices by 5 per cent

    How come then that I have to pay $100 more for the updgrade from CS4 to CS5 than CS3 to CS4. In my math that is 10% more not 5% less.
  • Screw The World Adobe.
    Hear are the facts, forget what any monkey with a broom up his proverbial tells you from Adobe.
    You can get the upgrade not only from the USA , but from Canada and Mexico for $199.00 US which makes the price in Canada within a few paltry dollars of what we should be paying.

    Remember this is the price of an Electronic download so how can it differ legitimately from the download cost in Australia. ????

    It is being downloaded from the the same source !!!!! what !!! do they think we are idiots ??.........of course they do.............screw the World.

    Fact 2

    I can get a hard copy from a store in the USA of CS5 upgrade delivered to Australia for an all up price of 241.00US which equals 262.00 AU that is at a conversion rate of 92cents to the dollar.

    Adobe, go back to the table and get your heads out of your proverbials and take a look around you pack of gluttonous hyhennas
  • Oh also meant to ask these animals.
    if you are student and have CS$ you cannot go to your student store and just buy an upgrade at a reduced price or any copy for that matter because you are only allowed one purchase per annum ? Is that correct you meatheads ????
  • This is really bullshit, the difference of price is really huge. It's just a policy to protect the US market and take as much cash as possible from abroad.

    If Adobe, you had a fair policy you would average the pricing worldwide and not saying that the pricing is a factor of the local cost which is bullshit argument to me.
  • The argument provided by Calum Russell for the increased pricing just does not stand up to facts.

    I've looked at buying Adobe Photoshop CS5 for quite some time, but I cannot justify the exhorbitant price that Adobe are charging when their US customers are getting the same software and the same support for almost 50% of the price.

    In my opinion, Callum Russell can shove it up his **** - I, and a lot of other people, just won't buy the software.

    After reading Callum Russell's response, I understand why people pirate software.

    I don't agree with the pirating of software, but I do understand the reason why.
  • Wow - time flies! Nearly two years since Adobe tried to justify the price disparity between AU and the US in the above letter to the editor. And guess what? Still no change on their pricing strategy or their ridiculous justification! Even when the Australian dollar is out performing the US dollar ($1.07 vs $1).

    I just tried to get some answers (via online support) given Dreamweaver CS5.5 is priced at US$399 and AU$667 and got the same inane waffle ... such as (and I quote) ... "Just so you know, there are many factors that decide pricing like 'the cost of doing business in each country' and the 'difference in the perceived value of the product".

    So what they're telling me is:
    * it costs more for an Aussie to hit the download button than it does a Yank (must be all those costly website language translations & hidden online taxes); and
    * Aussies think so highly of Adobe they want to pay 60% more than their American colleagues.

    Um... joke alert! ... here's an idea, why doesn't Adobe actually ask some of their Australian clients what they think of their pricing strategy (warning: this will involve climbing down from your ivory tower). Or if that's too much effort - Google it - and you'll see all the forums like this one!

    As a marketing professional that sells software globally, I find these pricing disparities unethical - especially given the online service and delivery model. Be honest Adobe - you're just being greedy because you can currently get away with it.

    BTW: I'm going to cancel my current Australian Dreamweaver Subscritpion. And if I can't find a way to get the product at US prices, I'll find another product. I'm not going to enable Adobe to price gauge me or feed me this BS anymore.
    Katie Yates