The San Francisco Chronicle published an article Monday about Appleis growing software sales. The report noted that just behind the companyis iPod business, software is the fastest growing segment of Appleis business. In fiscal 2004 (ending in the September quarter), Apple sold some US$503 million in software, up 39% from 2003.
"Definitely, the software business has been growing quite robustly," Shaw Wu, an analyst at American Technology Research, told the Chronicle. "They have more software packages in there, and the operating system upgrades are definitely important."
Not noted in the report is that earning money from software was one of the early goals of Steve Jobs when he returned to the help of Apple in 1997.
"Apple is committed to increasing the revenue it makes from its software products," Apple said in the press release announcing the acquisition of Steve Jobs NeXT, "and the acquisition of NeXT is a significant development in building a differentiated, sustainable and profitable software business."
One of the first changes to this effect was the introduction of QuickTime Pro, a paid version of Appleis multimedia software that included many of the advanced features previously available for free.
Since that time, Apple has introduced a number of software products like the iApps product line with iMovie, iPhoto, and iDVD. Originally introduced as free downloads, Apple eventually bundled them with GarageBand to make its popular iLife suite, a commercial package.
Today, iLife is a driving force in bringing people into Appleis fleet of retail stores.
Apple also entered into the digital video editing and professional digital recording businesses with Final Cut Pro, which was purchased from Macromedia, Shake, which came with the purchase of Nothing Real, and the Logic family, which was included in the purchase of Emagic.
The Chronicleis full report covered such issues as how having a quality software experience is key to bringing in new customers to the Mac platform, Apple being in competition with Adobe (Final Cut Pro), Microsoft (iWork), and third party developers like Pixoria, the makers of Konfabulator.