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!

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