The Apple Adobe relationship has been called into question once again following the latter company's decision to end Framemaker for Mac.
Though the company cited poor sales of that Mac product, Cnet columnist David Becker argues that the move signifies a growing gap between the two closely-related companies. "Apple Computer and Adobe Systems, like many in long-term relationships, have seen the twenty-years-and-counting bond between them run hot and cold."
The report states the relationship is in a "colder period", citing Adobe's move to drop some Mac products, deny other new products (such as Atmosphere) to the Mac market and competition between the two companies in the video market.
As a result of Apple's initiatives – chiefly the release of Final Cut Pro – in the video market, Adobe elected to end development of its own video editing application Premiere for Mac.
While the original relationship between the two companies is described as "symbiotic", Becker now describes it as arms-length.
Despite the report, Adobe has taken pains to stress the importance of the Mac market to its plans. Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen has called the relationship "great", adding: "My relationship with Apple CEO Steve Jobs continues to be extremely strong – we communicate on a regular basis. Where we compete, we've agreed to compete. Where we partner, we partner aggressively."
In defence of the relationship, the piece does look at the continuing connection between the two firms in the creative professional markets, particularly as regards Photoshop.
Photoshop guru Adobe employee number 19 Russell Preston Brown told Macworld UK last year: "Reports that claim the Adobe Apple relationship is wavering are just driftings, limited to the video market."
"If the Mac were to go away we'd be in big trouble," he added. "The Mac platform generates enormous revenues [for Adobe], and we'd be insane to leave it."
Adobe announced record first quarter 2004 revenues last week, saying these were partially driven by "strong global revenue" from the new Adobe Creative Suite.
Showing the import of the Mac to Adobe, company CEO Bruce Chizen observed that sales of Creative Suite were yet to peak, as Mac users engaged in upgrading to OS X.