Adobe hits UK users with £1k premium for CS4

Adobe hits UK users with £1k premium for CS4

Summary: UK users of Adobe's Creative Suite 4 Master Collection will still pay an almost £1,000 premium over the US price, as was the case with the previous version

TOPICS: IT Employment

UK customers of Adobe's soon-to-be-released Creative Suite 4 will have to pay almost £1,000 more than their US counterparts for the software.

Users in some other parts of the world will face similar pricing discrepancies.

Adobe launched Creative Suite 4 (CS4) on 23 September. The company's UK website still lists CS4's release as pending, but details are available of the UK pricing, which is the same as the pricing for CS3 when it was launched in March last year.

The Master Collection flagship product will cost £2,313.58 in the UK, according to Adobe's pricelist. In the US, Adobe is charging $2,499 which, at today's exchange rate, equates to a price of around £1,358.

This means that UK users are being charged around a 70 percent premium, compared to US users.

The news may not come as a surprise to Adobe's UK customers, as roughly the same pricing discrepancy existed in 2007. In July last year, the CS3 Master Collection cost $2,499 in the US — the same price as the CS4 Master Collection — and £2,313.58 in the UK.

Last year, Adobe's managing director for Northern Europe, Craig Tegel, attempted to justify the high UK pricing on a variety of grounds, including the exchange rate between the UK and the US, and differences in the way the company was organised in the US and Europe. He said there had been "lots of discussion around the pricing" since the launch of CS3.

The pricing discrepancy cannot be partly accounted for by the addition of VAT in the UK; all the UK prices quoted by Adobe exclude VAT, which has to be added to the higher charge.

The pricing difference is similar for other CS4 editions. For example, the Design Premium version costs $1,799 (£978) in the US and £1,467.58 in the UK — roughly a 50 percent premium over the US price.

At the time of writing, Adobe had not responded to a request for comment.

Topic: IT Employment


Colin Barker is based in London and is Senior Reporter for ZDNet. He has been writing about the IT business for some 30-plus years. He still enjoys it.

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  • Shameless rip-off

    I don't know how long Adobe expect to get away with this.

    For CS3, I just voted with my feet and bought a copy in the US (at the Apple Store in Orlando): it installed just fine on my UK Mac and saved me a fortune. Looks like I'll be doing the same for CS4.

    Current check on Design Premium OS X upgrade is
  • I voted with my feet

    None of these US companies have been able to justify the extra costs, and as I can remember what U S actually stands for, I tend to find alternatives wherever possible.
    One day they may see sense, but probably not when one listens to the MS rant about parallel importing and their attempts to stamp it out.
  • Have a look here

    "GIMP is the GNU Image Manipulation Program. It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages."

    I haven't used Photoshop et al recently, but I do know that The Gimp was developed as a replacement for Photoshop. If you are using PS to it's absolute limit, then you might have trouble with The Gimp, but if you are just doing bread and butter stuff, it's absolutely fine.
    Andrew Meredith
  • What a frakking joke...

    For that price difference, you might as well buy a low-season return airplane ticket to New York or even Los Angeles to buy your bloody copy. Oh, and then take the same flight all over again, just for kicks. And guess what? You