Monday, 7 April 2008

“Pixel Studio” - Apple-branded Photoshop Elements killer

Last month, this blog speculated that Apple might consider putting its savings to good use and purchasing Adobe. So far, they haven’t taken our advice on this one. So here’s an alternative strategy…

Isn’t it time that Apple developed their own image editing application? After all, they have Logic for audio, Final Cut Studio for video, but nothing for image editing. Sure, there’s Aperture, but this is more for organising digital photography, rather than editing images. We’re talking about a program that Web developers, print designers and desktop publishers would use. Yes, we’re talking about that elusive beast – a Photoshop competitor.

In the past, its been assumed that Apple wouldn’t dare to stray into this territory for fear of provoking Adobe into withdrawing Photoshop for Mac. But things are looking different these days. With the resurgence of the Mac platform, it looks unlikely that Adobe could afford to desert the platform. Instead, they seem to be heading in the opposite direction, by resurrecting apps such as Premiere for Mac to take on Final Cut Pro. We’ve also seen an emboldened Apple taking on Microsoft Office with iWork. Rather than driving Microsoft away from the Mac platform, competition from iWork seems if anything to have invigorated Microsoft’s Mac offering.

With Apple Insider reporting that Adobe plans to launch a 64 bit version of Photoshop CS4 for Windows, whilst leaving the Mac version at 32 bit, there’s all the more reason for Apple to consider offering Adobe some “coopertition” in this area. Apple could leverage their Mac-only technologies such as Core Image, Core Graphics and Core Animation – after all, a lot of the basic functionality for an image editing app is already built into these libraries. With a version 1.0 application, Apple could quickly give Photoshop Elements a run for its money. Subsequent versions could aim to take on Photoshop CS3 itself.

Whilst the most Apple-like name for this product would probably be “Image Studio”, this name is already taken by AutoDesk. So instead, Mac Predictions’ money is on “Pixel Studio.” But whatever it is called, we think it would be a hit – especially if Apple chose to price Version 1.0 aggressively, at say $79. As with early versions of iWork, customer curiosity alone would probably generate enough sales for the product to deliver profits whilst it approaches maturation.

1 comment:

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