Creative Suite 6 to cost UK buyers up to 38 percent more

Adobe has unveiled its updates to Photoshop, Illustrator and other tools in its revamped Creative Suite packages, and as usual, pricing for customers in the UK looks much higher than in the US
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Adobe has taken the wraps off Creative Suite 6, revealing that the latest major upgrade to its set of graphics, video and web tools will come at a mark-up in the UK.

Photoshop CS6

Adobe has unveiled its updates to Photoshop (above), Illustrator and other tools in its revamped Creative Suite 6 packages. Image credit: Adobe

The software package, unveiled on Monday, includes new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign among its line-up of 14 tools that will go on sale within 30 days. Photoshop is getting GPU acceleration and the ability to move objects within pictures, as well as video editing as standard, while Illustrator now uses the Cocoa interface from Mac OS X.

As usual, British buyers will be paying a lot more than those in the US. The premium for the high-end Master Collection is 38 percent, while the UK versions of the lower- and mid-range suites cost 28-percent more than their US counterparts, before considering sales taxes.

All of the applications in Creative Suite 6 (CS6) can be bought as a one-off purchase or as an upgrade, as in the past. However, they are now also available through Adobe's new Creative Cloud subscription service, which also launched on Monday.

"Creatives get a ton of innovation across CS6, with milestone releases of all our flagship products," Adobe digital media chief David Wadhwani said in a statement. "With CS6 and Creative Cloud, we're also introducing new products, new mobile workflows and advanced publishing capabilities that show we are laser-focused on ensuring design, web and video pros have everything they need for the delivery of high-impact content and apps."

Design, web and video pros have everything they need for the delivery of high-impact content and apps.
– David Wadhwani, Adobe

The Master Collection, which offers the most comprehensive non-subscription bundle of CS6 tools, will cost £2,223 (all prices here exclude VAT) when it goes on sale in 30 days' time. US customers will pay $2,599, which works out at £1,614 at today's exchange rate.

The cheapest package, Design Standard, costs £1,032 in the UK and $1,299 (£807) in the US, while the mid-range Design and Web Premium, and Production Premium bundles cost £1,509, compared with $1,899 (£1,180).

ZDNet UK has asked Adobe to explain the difference and is awaiting an answer. In the past, the company has justified its UK premiums by pointing to the complexity of the European market and suggesting it is more difficult to achieve economies of scale here than it is in the US.

Creative Cloud

As an alternative, Creative Suite users can opt for Creative Cloud. The subscription service offers more applications than any of the bundles — the newly-released Muse web design tool appears in Creative Cloud, but must otherwise be bought as a standalone product, for example.

Membership on a monthly plan costs £57.17 per user in the UK, if paid month-by-month rather than annually. That compares with $75 (£46.62) in the US — a 23-percent premium. If paid annually, the plan works out at £38.11 a month, and Adobe has an introductory offer of £22.23 per month via yearly payment for individual customers with CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5.

A Creative Cloud subscription could turn out cheaper than a new purchase if you want the CS Master Collection, working out at £2,058 over three years. However, that advantage disappears in the longer term, as upgrading from a previous version of Master Collection to a new version costs just under £400.

A Design Standard upgrade is priced at £219, while Design and Web Premium, and Production Premium each cost £298 to move up.

With the release of CS6, Adobe had been planning to introduce a policy of allowing only people who had the previous major version — CS5 or CS5.5 in this case — to buy an upgrade.

However, users kicked back and Adobe relented. It is now letting people who own versions as far back as CS3 jump to CS6 for the standard upgrade price, as long as they do so by the end of this year.

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