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Old September 5th, 2013, 12:03 PM   #1
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Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

This morning I just read an article on the MacRumors web site about Apples policy with regard to upgrades. The article is dated Wednesday, Sept 4, 2013 @ 2:42 pm PDT.

In it there was a plan by Omni Group to offer a lower price for customers who wanted to upgrade their App to a newer version. Essentially this would be the more-or-less "trade practice" for a upgrade at an upgrade price. An incremental improvement in the App for an incremental price. Apple's response was NO!

The article went on to say "Red Sweater Software's Daniel Jalkut called the move a 'chilling message from Apple'".

I couldn't agree more.

Apple claims to have slashed it price on the video editing software from $999 for FCP 7 to $299 for FCPX. While the lower price on X is true, there was a huge resistance to buying it even at the much greater lower price. Many professionals wrote negative comments about 10.0.1 version so certainly this impacted sales. The lower price may have been more of an effort to keep sales up based on Beta review feedback.

Anyway, FCPX is not a typical low-cost App Store application where customers can shrug off spending $9.99 or something. A few hundred bucks makes a dent on the wallet or a hole in the digital one.

Apple should re-think their policy about upgrades on expensive app upgrades.

Remember the old marketing saying: "The customer is always right!" Well, maybe we aren't always right but in this case, unless Apple can come up with a good argument to the contrary, I think we are.

What do you think?

P.S. I was an "early adopter" at 10.0.3.
Additional Editorial comment: I can get along without an upgrade (I think).
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Old September 6th, 2013, 03:12 PM   #2
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

OK, here's my 2 cents...

First, this isn't the first time there's been an issue with the App store being unable to do a "class upgrade."
I'd purchased my copy of Telestream's Screenflow from the App store, only to get a message from them that if I wanted to "upgrade" to the new version, I'd have to switch my license to Telestream directly, since the App store simply isn't set up to handle upgrade purchases. At the time, I could only speculate that Apple didn't want to get into the mess of trying to link another massive database from a zillion vendors so that the store could determine who was and who was not a registered users - and therefore eligible for the upgrade process. I wonder just how many "vendors" Apple has in the App Store? Must be literally hundreds of thousands. So to allow "version upgrades" wouldn't they have to build live links into the customer databases of ALL those accounts just to check who is and who is NOT eligible for the renewal price? Sounds like a total nightmare to manage.

With X, I suspect it's a different story, since Apple is the actual vendor of the software. So an upgrade system in the Apple store for an Apple Product tied to their own customer database makes a bit more sense.

I can certainly understand the frustration of a company like Omni, or Telestream.

But I suspect it might be a harder task than outsiders think to manage access to "tiered" pricing via the App store - without the HUGE potential for abuse. I could certainly see pirate sites springing up to offer "upgrade pricing access" to new buyers.

Probably just a hugely easier process to just make the App Store a "this sells for that, period" type of place.

But I'm not an expert and I could be very wrong about all of this.

Oh, an as to the "X had to slash the price because of (whatever)" I think this is totally faulty reasoning.

Here's why. X was the very FIRST "high priced" App in the App store. I don't think the price had anything to do with customer resistance. It had to do with the fact that when you drive out all the manufacturing, packaging distribution, and warehousing costs, Apple probably makes as much if not more per unit bottom line revenue selling X at $299 than they did selling Legacy at $1299. They understood FIRST that digital distribution changes virtually everything about COGS.

The slow adoption of X was actually because it took quite a long time for people to start to understand the power of the new software design. Apple was changing a lot of ideas that had been in common use for virtually the entire history of video editing. And it has taken quite a long time for editors to understand the how and why of those changes.

If you read the boards, what you hear today, is that a rapidly increasing group of professional editors who have made the change are now starting to reap the very significant benefits of having taken the long climb to FCP-X mastery. On another list where I hang out, there was word recently that X is being used to process all the dailies on the foreign set of a $100 million dollar plus major film. X was a giant departure from what used to be.

I (and many others) think it was a brilliant departure. And the industry is slowly but surely waking up to that. It's hugely efficient software. Not perfect, but for lots and lots of core video processing tasks, pretty darn amazing.

The fact that anyone can get it for a few hundred bucks via instant download is just one more amazing fact of modern editing life.

FWIW.
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Old September 14th, 2013, 02:23 AM   #3
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

I'm still stewing over the high potential for no "upgrade pricing" from Apple on FCPX.

There was a post by Tom Wolsky over at the Apple "FCPX Community" support site (https://discussions.apple.com/commun...inal_cut_pro_x) on the subject of upgrade pricing and his view is that there will be no upgrade pricing. In fact, he said the next version of FCPX could be well above the current $299. Something like $499 or $599. Either way, that really hurts.

After thinking about this for awhile, this is like buying a new car in April of 2011, drive it for two and a half years, then buying another new car but the dealership won't give you anything for your old one. Isn't that ridiculous?

If the old car still runs why buy a new one? Because the colors on the new cars are different and more fashionable? Because the new car has a fancier or better navigation system? Oh, maybe because the newer navigation system has the new streets? A better back-up viewfinder?

There was a post on the OmniGroup web site about their upgrade policy (Sep 4 with an update on Sep 6)
Blog - The Omni Group about how one can upgrade their apps. That is really nice of them but based on Tom Wolsky's posts it doesn't look like Apple would consider something like that for FCPX.

Maybe Apple thinks that when one buys a new camera that the old FCPX 10.0.9 won't be compatible with it? Well, there are some pretty good cameras that will work with the current "9" version so one could just upgrade to a later model used camera.

Bill, I like your 2 cents:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
OK, here's my 2 cents...
With X, I suspect it's a different story, since Apple is the actual vendor of the software. So an upgrade system in the Apple store for an Apple Product tied to their own customer database makes a bit more sense.
One wouldn't think it would be that difficult .... maybe more like doing an update but where one pays for it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I (and many others) think it was a brilliant departure. And the industry is slowly but surely waking up to that. It's hugely efficient software. Not perfect, but for lots and lots of core video processing tasks, pretty darn amazing.
I totally agree with "X" being great for so many editing tasks. I can transfer files from the camera and put together a video with titles, transitions, adjust the audio and color, in short order. With "Stabilization" it can make monopod shots look like they were taken from a tripod, and this part in just a couple minutes. Impressive!

So what do I need the new version for? What new bells and whistles will the new version have that I would want to pay the price of a while new application for? (these questions are for Apple management - the decision maker ones)

Someone who feels good about their Apple product or application is a happy Apple customer and that is good for Apple sales. Conversely, ..... well, hopefully Apple gets the drift.

Last edited by John Nantz; September 14th, 2013 at 02:25 AM. Reason: changed one word
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Old September 16th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #4
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

FCPX has sold a lot more copies than the old FCP ever did, all versions combined, for what I've heard! So no need for Apple to be worried in that regard...

As for the lack of upgrade price:
What Apple has done is they've reduced the price of their apps to the same (or lower!) as the earlier upgrade price was. So now you only pay the upgrade price, even if you're a new customer!
By reducing the price of entry, more people can afford it.

But if you think it's better to pay $999 once and then $499 (or whatever the old upgrade price was) for every upgrade, well...

Logic used to cost $999, then it was lowered to $499 and the upgrade price was $199. When Logic was made available om the Mac App Store the price was lowered yet again to... you guessed it, $199. When Logic Pro X was release recently, the price was $199.
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Old September 17th, 2013, 04:12 AM   #5
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitri Zigany View Post
What Apple has done is they've reduced the price of their apps to the same (or lower!) as the earlier upgrade price was. So now you only pay the upgrade price, even if you're a new customer!

Bingo!

When FCPX was released it was the lowest priced of the big 3 NLE's on the market - and the price around the same as it used to be to upgrade.

If they raise the price there will be an issue; but I doubt Apple will do that (they seem to be lowing the price of everything across the board).

I'm not sure how FCPX stacks up against the price of the other Big A's (Adobe & Avid); but no doubt it is still relatively inexpensive compared to them, even if you have to pay the full $299 again. At least you actually own the software (unlike with Adobe).
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Old September 22nd, 2013, 05:11 AM   #6
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Nantz View Post

Apple claims to have slashed it price on the video editing software from $999 for FCP 7 to $299 for FCPX. While the lower price on X is true, there was a huge resistance to buying it even at the much greater lower price. Many professionals wrote negative comments about 10.0.1 version so certainly this impacted sales. The lower price may have been more of an effort to keep sales up based on Beta review feedback.

Anyway, FCPX is not a typical low-cost App Store application where customers can shrug off spending $9.99 or something. A few hundred bucks makes a dent on the wallet or a hole in the digital one.
A couple of thoughts on FCPX and Apple pricing.

First - most of the resistance to buying FCPX on launch was based, as far as I could see, on two arguments: "I don't have time to learn a totally new workflow and system" and "It doesn't have key features that I need". If the low price was to buy sales, then after two years and wide acceptance, we'd have expected the price to go up. But not only has it not done so, other apps (Logic Pro) have followed the low price model.

And where does this idea come from that "App Store" must equal "pocket money prices"? FCPX is high end professional software - why would anyone *expect* to pay $9.99 for it? It's already cheaper than the upgrade price of legacy FCP. Is it so cheap to create an editing suite that $299 is a dealbreaker? Does Apple get no credit for the fact that you saved hundreds of dollars on the initial purchase?

If you want a car analogy, here's one: I'll sell you a $40,000 car for $10,000, and when you come back in 2 years you can have the same deal. But now you want me to give a trade-in price on the first car?

Some years ago, Sears decide to switch sales strategy - for generations, they'd have standard pricing, with low-price sales twice a year. They switched to much lower prices all year round, but no low-price sale period; overall, for almost all customers, it meant their total shopping cost was lower. But the customers objected, so violently that Sears had to switch back. In other words, the customers insisted on a model that cost them more money for the same goods. So no, the customer isn't always right.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 04:16 PM   #7
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

I'm confused.

Since I bought FXP-X maybe 2 years ago for $299, I haven't paid for any upgrades (and there have been quite a few).

Are you complaining the the free upgrades cost too much? Is $0.00 far too much for you to pay for an upgrade? Would you like to pay more? Less. Or are you just complaining about FCP-X, because that seems to be a a thing to do if you want to be perceived as a "professional".

Explain.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 01:34 AM   #8
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

Upgrades and fixes for beta software on a release platform should be free but I suspect that FCP X1 and FCP X11 will be at a further cost.

I have stayed n FCP 7 as it does what I need it too with P2 HD AVC Intra 100 and OMF to Pro Tools, besides a jump to FCP X would mean major hardware upgrades just to make it work on my Mac Pro's.

I still have FCP 5.0.4 running on a powerbook G4 to do SD news location editing for the new local TV services in the UK fed from a panasonic HPX301 running DV to P2 cards.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 01:41 AM   #9
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Re: Apple App Upgrade: Customer not always right???

Check out this video from Light Iron. It also talks about FCPX:

When FCP X was bug ridden, I went with it as I knew it is the future. Anyone who is not using it will suddenly wake up to the reality one day that FCP X is mainstream and editors with FCP X knowledge are demanded by productions.

FCP X is damn fast and helps me cut even in the field. Not sure why people are still complaining.
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