Quicken, the top-selling personal finance application, is a mainstay product for home computer users.
"If Apple drops prices and goes after the consumer market, not having a fresh product from Intuit really hurts them," said Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies in San Jose, Calif.
"This is a definite setback" for Apple's plans to expand its consumer push this Christmas season, said James Staten, analyst at San Jose, Calif., market researcher Dataquest.
However, Staten added, the decision, while a public relations nightmare, should not hurt Apple's (AAPL) growth in its core publishing and education markets.
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Intuit (INTU), of Mountain View, Calif., said that the numbers weren't adding up. It said three years of declining sales in the Mac version left it with little choice but to not update the program this fall.
Quicken will live on the Net
But Quicken also announced that it has assigned its Mac engineers to develop expanded personal finance capabilities on the Internet.
The latest versions of Quicken have Internet connection capabilities, so Mac users will be able to access the Web. Quicken 98 for the Macintosh was introduced last fall.
"Intuit believes that the combination of Quicken 98 for Macintosh with new Web-based tools on Quicken.com will offer the best way to continue to provide financial capabilities for Mac users."
Intuit said it will continue to sell Quicken 98 "for as long as Mac customers demand it."