Adobe Tries To Defend Its CS5 Pricing

Adobe Tries To Defend Its CS5 Pricing

Earlier this week, we noted that the new CS5 release of Photoshop was more expensive for Australian users than for their US counterparts. That stinks of down-under rip-off, but Adobe argues that the price represents “enormous value”.

Adobe group marketing manager Calum Russell has responded to the original ZDNet/Delimiter story highlighting the price difference, arguing that local prices are determined to match local market conditions and to reflect the dependence on local resellers. Quite how that translates into such a massive price difference is an issue Russell dodges.

He also suggests that there are better prices available for the full CS5 suite, which might be good news for large design companies but doesn’t help individuals so much. All in all, it seems like a good time to look at alternatives.

Adobe explains Aussie CS5 pricing [ZDNet]


  • So maybe if we buy if from the US, we’ll get ginormous value, instead of enormous????

    When will these companies relise we have the internet these days, and dont have to go down the street to buy everything?


    • Adobe – After all these years, your company still does not get rid of this stupid pricing structure. I agree with the comments that it encourages people to look at pirated copies.

      I was considering CS5 but now I will continue to use Photoshop 7.01

  • I think it’s incredibly hypocritical of Adobe to criticize Apple about “restricted freedom” (ie banning Flash CS5 iPhone Export) to author iPhone apps – given it’s Apple’s store and their R&D and money that’s largely made it what it is, and then pretend the CS5 international pricing is a totally different issue.

    How come the App Store’s pricing is largely the same the world over for Apps? Or Apple’s own software isn’t all the more expensive here in Australia compared to the US.

    Is it because when you purchase downloadable software from Adobe’s store, they have to go SOOOOO far further than Apple’s bits through the intertubes? What about their retail presence then? Sheesh – I’ve been a heavy Macromedia/Adobe customer for many years, but I am getting really sick of this patently obvious grab for dollars. I’m just going to buy a US upgrade this time.

    If you think Australian pricing for CS5 is bad, you should check out European pricing. It’s almost double the US figures. Greedy, greedy, greedy.

    • I agree generally, but the app store’s Australian pricing is far beyond an exchange rate.

      And don’t even get me started on the tax for buying mac products here. It’s not that different.

  • It’s a good thing we have parrallel importing laws that allows us to purchase goods from America in an attempt to increase competative pricing in Australia. But have you tried to purchase software from the US. Some sites wait until you “check out” to tell you that you can it can be sent outside of the US. What happened to the US-Australian trade agreement that Howard signed off on. Well at least it still allows us to to legally make a personal copy of software and allows us to rip CDs to a portable device.

  • Sorry the above text should have stated that “it CAN’T be sent outside the US”.

    We all find these price increases far too common and are usually palmed as the cost of importing, when it is really the cost of ‘lack of competition’. (re: banks)

    I found one Australian software company which was a re-seller of a great piece of antivirus software to be more expensive than its European and Us counterpart. All they were doing were collecting my money and issuing a software key – the download came from Europe.

  • Written like a true marketing manager, complete bs. The only product from Adobe i use flash (only the viewer), and i wish i didn’t have to use that (i use foxit for PDF).

    But what they are doing for CS5 is nothing more than information superhighway robbery. Hopefully they will see large decrease in revenue for the Australian store because of this.

  • I can “almost” understand staying competitive with the local vendors when buying the boxed copy, but the digital download version?

    If anything though, them setting the RRP so high will mean people go elsewhere to buy (or pirate) their copies, which will just hurt the local vendors anyway.

  • As a Mac user,
    Apple Aperture does 80-90% of what I used to do in Photoshop (Especially with OnOne, DxF, Portraiture and Nik Suite add-ons).
    I only use Photoshop now and then when I need to stamp/clone something or edit CYMK curves.
    But I must admit that Content Awareness and new Brushes in APS CS5 and other new features of AID, AI, APS will be/is a seller for me to get Creative Suite 5 upgrade!

  • Two ideas. The first is, you don’t *need* to upgrade to every new version. It’s top of the range software. Prices are bound to be high, and as suggested there are a lot of good (affordable) alternatives out there. Secondly, just wait a little while and buy it from a reseller that’ll no doubt cut a large amount off that price. Buying from Adobe’s store is never a good idea.

  • If you have kids at school – primary to uni – you may obtain (from memory 6 weeks ago) CS4 suite for A$160.

    Fairly shortly CS5 creative suite will be priced similarly.

  • I hate using pirated s/ware and buy when the price is fair….but this rip off in Australia stinks, sucks and scrubs and you are encouraging people to pirate your product.

    People would rather buy legal software….wake up be fair and sell it for a sensible price – you might even increase your turnover…..

  • We all agree that Adobe’s price policy sucks (and is quite possibly illegal under Australian Law) but there is a workaround that I have used and it works.

    Basically all you need to do is set up a US address and phone number (I Googled for mine) and a hotmail account with any name.

    Purchase the software from Adobe’s US using the bogus details and pay by credit card, NOT Paypal. Serial numbers are then sent to the Hotmail account. You can then download from the US site, or download a trial copy from any site and register it with the serial number that they sent to you.

    With the exchange rate at AUD $1.00 = USD $1.08 (today) I couldn’t resist making Adobe suffer.


  • One of the main reasons Adobe charge customers outside the US more for their software, is because they think they can get away with it. They know that as much as some of us grumble, most of us think there is little we can do about it.

    In the 21st century it makes no sense that I can’t download Adobe product for the same price as their customers in the US and while individually there probably isn’t much I can do, I wonder if collectively we could organise ourselves to get Adobe to take notice of us?

    For this reason there is a new Google Groups email list at the idea behind the group is to discuss ways to get Adobes attention and ultimately change what is an antiquated pricing policy.

    If there are enough of us we may be able to use our numbers to get Adobe’s attention by organising disruptive events such as calling Adobe support or sending an email to complain, although this would need a large number of us to be effective.

    If you think paying more for Adobe Software because you’re not living in the US is grossly unfair in a globalised world, please consider joining our group.

  • Do they even provide much support for additional pricing?????? I know another software I use in Australia does (solid works… although the support usually doesn’t know much, they are there the whole working day every dy to help anyway possible)….. piss off Adobe Australia, we are using the alternative or as some stated pirated… that’s your fault… rude bastards

  • I was about tobuy Adobe CS5 from Amazone at $670USD through my cousin who lives in the US. But I changed my mind after chatting with one of their US employees. She told me the version I will get from the US won’t be compatible in Australia and I won’t be able toactivate the key.
    Has anyone heard about that?

  • Bearut. I think that is a load of BS.

    I am looking at buying Flashbuilder 4.5 and it is $1,069 AU vs $699 US. Adobe CS in both regions can’t explain how it can be so different. Didn’t apple just get some heat for over pricing apps to AU?

    Some More press needs to be put onto Adobe to wake them up.

  • I just downloaded a trial of Photoshop CS5, from the USA site.

    The US pricing is $699, the Australian pricing is $1168.

    If I choose to buy I’d be paying Australian prices for a USA version of the software – there would be nothing “Australian” about my copy of Photoshop, as all I need to do now (after purchase), is type in a registration code.

    To charge me $469 more for the exact same downloaded product that my American friends can download, is criminal. What exactly am I getting to explain this $469 difference? Not a thing. And with our Australian dollar being higher, in some situations when buying things from the USA, I’d be paying less, not more.

    We need to stand up and start yelling. Our Australian dollar is on par, or better than the American dollar, and for many things, like downloaded software, we are being ripped off, just because they can. The excuse of small market, extra costs involved etc, is a blatant lie when we are talking about software downloaded from a central location.

  • Yes, we definitely need to start yelling.

    Unfortunately, when I tried contacting someone in the US from Adobe, it proved harder than it should have been.

    Still, there are ways around it – I’m currently looking at some US companies that act as a middleman – you buy it, get it shipped to them, they onforward it.

  • This kind of thing makes my blood boil, and it’s not just software. It’s also happening in the Apple Itunes store (except apps) and imported video games (among other things).

    What really makes me mad is the steps corporations like Adobe and Microsoft take to stop Australian consumers from purchasing from their/an American website in US dollars. You get everything from Amazon saying the product can’t be shipped to your address, to your IP from being blocked, to your credit card being rejected…etc. There’s no explanation for this practice other than these companies WANTING Australians to pay a bloated price.

    When did it become a crime for Australians to buy downloadable products from American websites (it’s not stealing)? Why do these companies think it’s okay to charge Australian citizens twice as much just because they’re Australian, even when the exchange rate is in their favor? That’s international discrimination and I won’t tolerate it. (And a global financial crisis is not an excuse to rip off international customers; we’re ALL struggling to make ends meet)

  • The price for Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium in Australia $2,886.30. In the US$1,899
    I’m off to the US next week but having difficulty finding a list of stores where I can buy a hard copy of the software. Any ideas? Or should I just buy at a market in China?

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