Last Call for Final Cut? Part 1

The Motly Fool by Dan Radovsky

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL ) unleashed a storm of anger across the professional video world last summer when it released the replacement for its popular Final Cut Pro editing program. (For examples of the negative reaction, go here.) This article is the first of three that will go over what happened and what it may mean for Apple and its two main rivals in the realm of video editing.

Change may not be for the better
The problem with Apple's new program, dubbed Final Cut Pro X, is that instead of being an improved version of its predecessor, it actually became less useful. It dropped features that video professionals had come to rely upon, and its drastically reworked interface forced editors to learn a new -- some pros have called "unwieldy " -- way of editing. As a final twist of the knife, FCPX can't open projects edited in FCP.

Final Cut Pro X -- which sports a much lower price to go along with its shortened features list -- seems to signal a sea change in Apple's attitude toward its professional customers. The new demographic goal appears to be a larger pool of amateur and semi-pro users who had grown beyond Apple's iMovie editing program (which is included with each Mac) but had found Final Cut Pro too complex and expensive.

A smart move?
That decision may, indeed, prove to be the right one for Apple. It's hard to argue with the company's enormous success selling consumer-oriented devices, such as the iPhone and iPad. So selling millions and millions of a prosumer program like FCPX at $300 each would certainly seem to be more profitable than selling fewer copies of a more expensive fully-featured professional program at $1,000 a pop. read more...

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