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Re: FcpX 10.5?

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Tim Wilson
Re: FcpX 10.5?
on Apr 22, 2020 at 8:04:14 pm

[Oliver Peters] "I think one thing that skews this argument is Apple itself. You are using metrics that make sense for a normal company. I really doubt Apple cares much whether or not their applications make a profit.

I'm sure they do, but for Apple, selling applications is a marketing expense, based on their unified accounting system across all sections of the company."


I agree with that in general. My point is that the ONLY reason to prime the pump and say "Pay us" is if they want to be paid. And if they want to be paid, a substantial shift in their "pay once, you have it all" strategy is exactly the wrong one.

It's not that they care about the noise from the yammerocracy, per se, but they do to the extent that it affects their ability to do business. Never forget that the most aggressively anti-customer CEO in history, the guy who proclaimed from the rooftops to anyone who would listen that only idiots listen to their customers, was forced to concede that "You're holding it wrong" was an insufficient reply to the yammerocracy. WE MADE HIM take a billion dollars out of Apple's pockets and pay for iPhone bumpers that he was adamant that we didn't need.

Then proved he was right when he didn't spend a penny to fix the very obviously malfunctioning antenna on the next release, and indeed, nobody screamed for a bumper or case. Of course, by that point, we'd been sufficiently trained by Apple not to expect an iPhone capable of making or holding a call, and that anyone who bought an iPhone needed to expect to use it in a case for even the substandard level of service of iPhones at their best.

They obviously sorted this out later, and iPhones hold calls no better or worse than anyone else, but the point is that in the short term, Apple found that the drag on the business was more intolerable than the notion of a billion dollar set of shiny keys to distract us.

None of that is the case this time of course, and I completely agree with you about the relative insignificance of Pro Apps to Apple. I've gone even further than this of course, and argued that Pro Apps USERS don't contribute to any meaningful part of Apple's hardware sales, either. Apple gets far more business from everyone else by definition, because the universe of Mac users of other apps is so much bigger.

But Pro Apps does exist, and is responsible for SOMETHING. Obviously not a separate line on the P&L, but it's not like the self-proclaimed "hobby" of the Apple TV device, where any revenue was treated as a happy surprise.

So we're back to the starting place -- what's the most effective way for Pro Apps to fund the next round of development? I'm planting my flag on new users. It HAS to be new users. Not existing ones. Apple going back to current users with their hands out will not only piss off the large number of current users who aren't [fill in mini rant of your choice here], but it will be the first time that many potential new users will hear, LOUDLY, "Oh, so THIS is what it's like to buy Apple's pro software. No thanks. I'll stick with iMovie."

Again, the only reason to ask for money is if you WANT money. And the only money Apple wants from its customers, other than the odd subscription here and there, is for NEW stuff. Not upgrades.

This is why, when they release the new version of IOS-enabled version of FCPX, it's only going to run on the newest iPads. This is Apple's par for the course with every update, of course, and the cornerstone of how they preserve "the Apple experience." The big friction is almost always when you try to combine new software with old hardware (and software). See also: every Catalina thread at the COW and every forum, blog, and article across the web.

Apple wants NEW customers for FCPX, and they already know that no substantial number of new ones comes from new computer releases. The market isn't growing organically as much for Apple anymore (no disrespect intended; just an observation that I trust is non-controversial, but VERY germane to this conversation), so what's going to move the needle?

New ways of working, new locations for working, new devices in the mix, new attractiveness for people who would never have considered it, AND a reason for a few thousand people to buy new new iPad Pros.

Let's do a back of the envelope calculation. One percent of 2.5 million FCPX users is 25,000, times the $1000 price of a mid-range iPad Pro, that's $25 million gross. In the world of Apple's overall revenue, that's small, but I think that anything in the eight figure range enters the conversation at some point....

....especially when you try to imagine the last time that the universe of current FCPX users dropped $25 million cash in Apple's pocket. And that's if only 1% of FCPX users think, "Yeah, you know what, it's been a while since I got a new iPad. I'll use it for a bunch of other stuff, so might as well check it out."

But they won't get those iPad Pros if they're annoyed at having to pay for basically only this new feature, or this plus some other new features that for the past nearly decade, they've been getting free.

Whatever else Apple has learned since the iPhone antenna debacle, it's to avoid unnecessarily standing in the way of cash flow. Creating a brand new, udderly unique upgrade message NOW would do exactly that. They'd stop the software business dead in its tracks, would take the opportunity for new iPad Pro sales to those customers for nothing. Not one possible advantage.

The ONLY way FCPX grows is with a strong iPad Pro-enabled release. That's it. There's nothing else.

You may not want it on iPad. You may hate Apple for its i-focus when they're ignoring what you need from them to do your job with your all-Apple office. Doesn't matter. It's FCPX on iPad Pro or bust.

I'm not casting a vote here. I'm not a customer, no matter what. I'm just looking at the business case, and everything you guys are telling me is only making me more certain I'm right. LOL


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