BlackBerry, Motorola, HTC, Nokia, and Microsoft were caught up in Apple’s vision of the future of smartphones and have yet to recover (Nokia and Motorola were sold, BlackBerry teeters on oblivion). What other company is missing in action in the mobile industry?
Wherefore Art Thou, Adobe?
Steve Jobs called the iPad the beginning of the post-PC era, and while it’s unlikely that traditional PCs, including the Mac, are destined for the junkyard, the PC industry is in decline.
Why? It’s math. Many of the tasks which were required of our Macs and PCs have been offloaded to our iPhones, iPads, smartphones and tablets.
In other words, we don’t need our Macs and PCs the way we did in years past, so we don’t upgrade to new models as often.
The PC industry is in a tailspin, thanks to growing capabilities built in to smartphones and tablets. Caught in that down draft is venerable Adobe whose presence in the mobile arena could be described as missing in action.
Adobe makes money by selling apps; tools for content creation and management. To combat the industry changes, Adobe now sells many products on a monthly rental scheme; a good way to lock in the remaining PC-centric customers.
When it comes to mobile apps, where is Adobe’s presence? The word languishing comes to mind, and that’s being kind.
The company’s most expensive app on the iPhone App Store is Adobe Photoshop Touch, a mildly intriguing version of what should or could be called Photoshop Lite Mini Junior, priced at $9.99; expensive by iTunes App Store standards. The even lighter Photoshop Express for iPhone is free (but with a smorgasbord of in-app purchase options), as are the rest of Adobe’s iOS apps.
With the computing industry moving quickly into the mobile device era, Adobe’s presence is close to non-existent, with so-so apps lost within the rising tsunami of third party photo and image enhancement apps that are free or very inexpensive.
With the failure of Flash to catch on in mobile devices, Adobe switched gears and created a number of PC-centric apps which are used to create and build HTML5-compatible content, but has mostly missed the revenue and profit boat for iOS devices.
If Photoshop and Illustrator are Adobe’s bread and butter, the killer apps for content creation, how will Adobe fare as smartphones and tablets take a continually growing share of functions once reserved only for Macs and PCs?