Adobe CS3 Comparative Pricing


Two lollipops

There has been some discussion since Adobe announced their new products on the differences in pricing for non-US countries. Adobe tells us that the pricing models for countries outside of the US are controlled by the local Adobe office to a degree.

Now I have nothing against the new Creative Suite itself. From what I have seen in the previews and demonstrations, it seems to be worth the United States upgrade price. But how does this compare to previous upgrades? How do the prices in Australia compare to the prices in the US. Are Australian’s being ripped off by Adobe Australia? This is what I’m going to be examining here in detail.

A quick comparison of the recommend retail pricing in Australia versus the US is given below.

Product Australian United
(inc GST)
(ex GST)
% Diff Cost
Web Premium (full) $2775 $2522 $2059 +28% $1599
Web Premium (upgrade from Creative Suite) $589 $535 $436 +24% $349
Web Premium (upgrade from Studio) $865 $786 $644 +29% $499
Web Premium (upgrade from separate products) $2425 $2204 $1800 +28% $1399
Web Standard (full) $1735 $1577 $1287 +29% $999
Web Standard (upgrade from Studio) $689 $626 $511 +28% $399
* – (0.8167 Exchange Rate as of 5 April 2007)

Yes I’m focusing on the web premium package, mainly because this is the package that I’m interested in.

Looking at the figures above, Australian’s are paying a 25-30% price increase for the same software sold in the US. Now I know the product has to be shipped, but I can bet that it’s not really coming from the US, but a pressing plant in China or the equivalent. So why are us mugs in Australia having to pay the price increase for the same software. And don’t tell me it’s for local customisation. Should we have to pay for this price difference?

We need to send a message to Adobe Australia to stop being greedy with the local designers and developers. Wake up Adobe Australia, you are in control of the pricing, at least give the local industry and break and do a loyalty early upgrade discount marketing campaign.

If you could purchase and download the software from the Adobe Store (not that I have tried this one), then certainly that would be the way to go. Mind you, to do so you would have to register the account in the online store as being in the US, and I you will be breaching the licensing agreement. And if you can’t download it and have to ship the disks, you will be slugged for GST and import fees. Still all things considered this pricing is just not on. Has anyone considered the Australia-US free trade agreement.

Price the products too high and the Web Industry will find alternatives. Look at the Microsoft alternatives , okay the product is a little immature, but it’s shaping up as an alterative development suite, which is good as it gives us back a competitive market.

Also the debate has moved into the upgrade prices and their value for money. Clearly from the table below it is value for money if you consider it versus the purchasing of separate items, but it’s always been this way, hasn’t it. That’s why these software suites always sell well.

Product Separate Items Upgrade Web Premium Upgrade
Macromedia Studio Upgrade Option * $949 $865
All Products ** $2174 $865
* – Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Professional
** – Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash Professional, Acrobat, Photoshop, Illustrator

But how do the upgrade prices compare to previous versions.

Product Previous
Photoshop (extended) $345 $605
Illustrator $295 $345
Acrobat Professional $275 $275
Dreamweaver $345 $345
Fireworks $259 $259
Flash Professional $475 $345

Is the current (CS3) upgrade prices good value for money?

Well if you consider the matrix above the pricing points are very similar. The exceptions being for Photoshop and Illustrator, but if you consider the level of feature improvement and changes from the previous versions these prices aren’t too bad.

Now I do agree it would be nice if Adobe had allowed an upgrade path for Photoshop, Illustrator AND Studio as an item. But sadly there is only three pricing points; separate products, Studio or Creative Suite. This could have been handled a little better with maybe another pricing tier being present. I have attempted via several communication mediums to contact Adobe to get an answer on this, but as expected they are silent.

What do you think; should here be a third middle tier on the pricing? Is the software priced too high in comparison to the US price?

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  1. I totally agree. The software has been priced too high. Does Adobe think consumers are going to buy their products at these rates? Would Adobe even consider pricing down?

  2. Hi!

    Great analysis!

    We have the same problem here in Europe and have started a petition.

    I know it’s a European petition but if something changes in Europe, they will have to adjust for the rest of the world too!

    Just thought you’d like to know!

    Kind regards,

    Danielle Libine

  3. Nipun Jayasinghe

    I agree with everyone, why would people decide to buy software at that percentile increase for Australians. Unfortunately Adobe isn’t the only software organization that does this all most every single one does it but why? I can understand that there will need to be a price increase slightly for shipping and handling costs but it surely can’t be by that much.

    From Nipun Jayasinghe

  4. The current round of upgrades is a great opportunity to start looking outside the adobe square. There _are_ alternatives out there. For example, Corel Draw X3 actually beats illustrator as a vector drawing app, but it’s a fraction of the price. I’m an After Effects user, but I’m seriously considering switching to Combustion (a similar product, but with more features for the same price). Now if only there was something that I could replace potatoshop with..

  5. You *can* buy via the Adobe website – but the % premium for being in Australia is even worse that way! There’s no option to pay in USD and have it shipped to Australia… and their AUD price for CS3 Design Premium (the one I’m interested in) is AU$3200+, compared to their USD price of US$1799. Ugh.

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