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Why You Shouldn’t Expect a Mac Version of CorelDRAW

Every single day I hear someone ask about a MacOS native version of CorelDRAW. This post is not to debate the merits of Mac vs. Windows. While I will explain the obvious reasons there won’t be a Mac version, there is nothing to say Corel won’t make an announcement otherwise. It is their business and their business decision to make. I’m simply explaining the business rationale why I don’t think it will happen, ever!

For Mac users, there is a way to use CorelDRAW X5 today. It works quite well using either Boot Camp or Parallels to run Windows in a virtual machine. While Mac users may not want to do that, it is a workaround if they want to run CorelDRAW. The last version Corel released for the Mac was CorelDRAW 11 and it was a poorly received port. Plus it won’t run on the recent versions of MacOS. Therefore I don’t consider it a usable option.

While Mac users want a native version and claim that sales of Macs are up, they don’t understand the financial implications. Corel is a business and I’m sure many of their decisions are based on whether or not a project will be profitable. Thus we need to look at the sales required to make a Mac version profitable. I’m going to use North American prices of the Windows version to come up with some numbers. The full version lists for $499. I’m going to say the average sale price is $399. Upgrades sell for $199 and I’m going to say the average sale price is $179. I’m going to assign a cost of $50 to producing a box with manuals, discs, etc and shipping it to distributors. In addition, there are marketing and support costs associated and I’ve assigned $20. Those numbers could be high and they could be low. Overall should they should be relatively close. Based on those numbers, the money going to Corel is $329 for a full version and $109 for an upgrade. I’m also going to make an assumption that the number of full and upgrades sold is equal, though likely the upgrades are a much higher percentage.

The biggest question is how much it would cost to develop a Mac native version. Let’s use a very random round number of $1 million. If Corel sold 2500 copies of the full and 2500 copies of the upgrade, they would have $95,000 in profit based on the numbers I’ve guessed. Previous releases of the Mac version haven’t come even close to those sales numbers. The actually development cost is probably much higher than $1 million so just assume that for every million in development, Corel has to sell at least 5000 (2500 full and 2500 upgrade) units to cover the cost and make a minimal profit.

Even if Corel were to develop a Mac version, some things wouldn’t be included. Most notably would be VBA/VSTA support. Those are Windows technologies that just aren’t available on the Mac. This means none of the macros available for the Windows version would work. There are probably other pieces of code that are very dependent on Windows. That could mean elimination of other features or they would have to be re-written to work on the Mac.

If you would like to suggest different numbers than I’ve used, feel free to post a comment on the blog or on the Graphics Unleashed Facebook page. I’d also love to hear other reasons why you feel it should happen or why it won’t happen. Just back up your reasons with data!

Update: A May 2013 post on this subject: Native Mac Version of CorelDRAW Coming? Don’t Expect It!

About Foster D. Coburn III

Foster D. Coburn III
Foster D. Coburn III is the author of thirteen books on CorelDRAW, the latest being CorelDRAW X6 Unleashed. He has been a contributor to numerous magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site and many more, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics and Web conferences.

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18 comments

  1. What I dont understand is. Adobe runs both on windows and mac, WHY cant Corel? I love corel and have been a fan since the day i discovered it back in 2005 I cant get enough of it… It is really sad because it is a requirement by my design college that I work on a MAC 🙁 I HATE ADOBE & I AM SICK OF MY TEACHERS TALKING ABOUT COREL like its the worst software ever and degrading to myself and my Degree if I continue to use it. As they constantly say, “IF COREL WHERE THAT GREAT WHY CANT THEY AFFORD TO BRING OUT A MAC VERSION”?….. I HONESTLY FEEL LIKE I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO GIVE COREL UP BUT I CANT BRING MYSELF TO DO IT. WHY IS COREL MAKING MY LIFE SO HARDDDDDD :(. I just want to be able to use you on MY MAC. I ONLY USE COREL I AM A DIE HARD FAN COME ON ALREAY PLEASE WHAT MUST WE DO………. THERE ARE SO MANY STUDENTS THAT HOVER OVER MY SHOULDER AND ALSO AGREE THAT ITS BETTER THAN ADOBE…… 80% OF STUDENTS HATE ADOBE…. WHY IS COREL STICKING AROUND AS A SECOND BEST AND NOT STEPPING UP TO THE PLATE…… ADOBE LACK IN SO MUCH YET COREL HAVE IT DOWN PAT SO PLEASE BRING OUT A MAC VERSION PLEASEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE DAM IT.

  2. Did you read the post? It isn’t a question of why can’t it run on a Mac. It is about MONEY!

  3. Corel are pussies. Either stand up and show you are the better graphics program (which you are) or whither and die as mac and Adobe continue to dominate in the graphic design world

  4. Yeah well, this is your way of laying it out. A lot of companies (OmniGraffle seems to do well) can do this, even though they sell fewer licenses than Adobe Illustrator, MS Visio etc.
    You are also forgetting a large point. The old CorelDRAW for Mac was developed for a completely different architecture, whereas the picture has changed, and the underlying platform (hardware etc.) is now the same.
    If they did the abstractions correct (or just used GL instead of D3D), they would have an easy port, where only the UI had to change. This could be done relatively cheap, and no development of a completely new package should be done. Look at all the software the flow in the Mac direction (games etc.).
    The Mac is a pretty big platform, and I guess they can sell more than your 2500 (or was it 5000?) copies pr $1 million.
    Another way of looking at it, is that they could lower their price, then more of us would actually buy the software, and they would earn more (this is the new way of selling software through the App Stores, and it works).

    CorelDRAW is still my favourite graphics suite, and I would love it on my Mac, with it’s sensible UI, performance and stability. I guess Corel has just made so many mistakes (Linux, WordPerfect etc.), that they don’t dare.

  5. So how do they port VBA (the macro language) when it isn’t available on the Mac? While you believe they can sell more than 2500 copies, I can pretty much guarantee it won’t happen.

    The key here is that it runs really well in emulation (via Boot Camp, Parallels, etc) and there just is so little demand for a native version that they can’t justify the cost.

    Sadly, nobody wants to believe the stark business reality of it.

    • I’ve seen VBA running on a Linux machine as the entire VB library is essentially comprised of a single 300k DLL. Why someone couldn’t write a wrapper that would encapsulate this and make VBA available on the Mac is beyond me. VBA was made to be portable AND easily up-gradable. Hence the fact that most of the library and functions were put into a single library. Usually packaged along with Visual Basic as well as ASP as they are all close cousins.

  6. I’ve also explained in a later post that about the only way a native Mac version will be created would be if Apple were to purchase Corel (http://graphics-unleashed.unleash.com/2012/03/could-apple-buy-adobe-or-corel.html). While this may seem farfetched, there are good reasons for Apple to do it.

  7. well, i been using corel since corel 5 and i got sick of windows because virus and stability, so i switched to mac this year, im really impresed by the system and all that stuff that we already know, the problem was THERES NO COREL, i tried the boothcamp (win on a mac) and it sucks, yes i been using corel x5 on my macbook air and its even worst, all that speed and wonder was degraded by virus and unstability of windows, so…what i done its buy a power pc g5, it was not that expensive and leopard runs pretty good and stable, also corel 11, probably its not that great (just because i had learned comands on keyboard) but you have almost same features or most important from x5, yes i been frustrated just like you and you feel like an idiot tryng to learn illustrator if you been years trusting corel, but a g5 its a fast computer, nice and you can run corel without all that windows issues, so, i gess we all corel users can say…we still having corel for mac, we just have to use creativity a little bit more to do automatic functions, i think its not that bad

  8. From that hard to read comment; it seems the new Mac doesn’t include a Shift key or punctuation marks on the keyboard. Plus it really needs a spell checker. I never understood users who leave Windows because of “viruses” as I’ve never had one. Good anti-virus software and common sense will avoid them.

  9. Could Adobe Creative Cloud rental-only sales model be a new opportunity for Corel Draw? – There are a lot of p*ssed-off Creative Suite users out there, many of them Mac owners…

  10. Yes, Adobe’s move could open up sales for CorelDRAW. But if your real question is whether there is any way Corel creates a native Mac version of CorelDRAW, I wouldn’t count on it. As stated in the post, the Windows version works well in Boot Camp, Parallels and other virtual machines. Corel simply has very little financial incentive to develop a Mac version and that hasn’t changed at all.

  11. Why does it pay off for many other companies to make a mac version of software, but not for CorelDraw? Why does it pay for Adobe, MSOffice, Matlab, LabView and 1000s of others? What is so special about CorelDraw that it does not pay off?

  12. Corel tried three times to develop a Mac version of CorelDRAW and it failed miserably. If YOUR business had attempted a project, any project, three times and failed miserably, would you want to try again and risk losing MILLIONS of dollars?

    CorelDRAW is deeply embedded with MANY Windows technologies. Those technologies just simply don’t exist on the Mac. So while it may be the same software in name, the actual code (and features) would be radically different.

    I know this is not the answer Mac users want. You can dislike the answer all you want. It is just the stark reality of the situation.

  13. And yet Corel has Painter running on the Mac platform…

    I also don’t understand why Corel Draw can’t make the jump to Mac. They have the technology and the programmers and there are waaaaay more than 5000 unhappy Adobe users holding off against their subscription model.

    Painter users on the Mac are also a potential user base. They must be selling more than enough copies of Painter on Macs to keep it cross platform.

    As an Adobe user on a Mac, I have no idea what VBA scripting is, so I’ll probably not miss it. Can’t Automator do scripting? There’s recordable scripting in Painter – use that technology.

    Selling through Mac’s App Store reduces many production costs (discs, boxes, postage, warehouse & stock management, import duties, manuals etc and minimal marketing) that they might be able to offer a very tempting price point to compete. Alternatively, they will be making a greater margin so it will be more profitable requiring fewer copies to be sold to make up for their development.

    I’m searching for a professional alternative to Adobe, and everything except Corel is either not mature enough or just doesn’t support CMYK.

    I really don’t get it. I bet they’d make a fortune. I suspect internal politics or legal/patent issues.

    (remember when Quark was 2 years late in updating to OSX? Adobe bundled InDesign & Acrobat with every copy of Illustrator and PhotoShop sold in a first attempt of their Creative Suite called the Design Studio? With in a year, Quark was gone and InDesign has ruled ever since. Now it’s Adobe sitting in Quark’s place because of its subscription model. We need Corel to be our “David” to knock this “Goliath” down a few pegs and return the balance of graphics software to a better equilibrium)

  14. Stephen,

    Let’s first discuss Painter, Corel purchased it from another company. It had always been developed for both platforms. So it really isn’t a comparable product.

    VBA scripting is important, and “Automator” is not the same thing or even close.

    The App Store isn’t programmers which would be the largest cost so far. Production costs are not the issue.

    If there are so many unhappy Adobe customers on the Mac, they can install an emulator and run CorelDRAW on their Macs. This is the biggest reason you aren’t going to get a native version.

    Sorry you don’t get it, it is plain and simple a business decision because a native Mac version would lead to financial losses.

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