New Apple trademark teases a huge change to Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro
Final Cut Pro (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple has updated its trademark listing for its Final Cut Pro video software.
  • It could indicate that Apple plans to introduce a subscription plan to users.

A new Apple trademark filing indicates the company might be planning to introduce a subscription to its Final Cut Pro video editing software on macOS.

As noted by Patently Apple:

On Monday Apple filed an update to their trademark 'Final Cut Pro' in Europe adding Nice Classification #42 that hints that Apple could decide to go the way of Microsoft's subscription model for Final Cut Pro by adding in that class verbiage covering "rental of software."When you go directly to the WIPO IP Portal under Class 42 one of the first things that you'll see listed is a header titled "This Class includes, in particular." Under its third point it states: Class 42 covers Software as a service (known as SaaS). So it's not just a boiler plate entry from Apple, it's a core value.Microsoft's Office 365 is considered SaaS which is a pay for service for a suite of software. With Apple now adding class 42 opens the door for Final Cut Pro to become a similar software as a service via cloud subscription or software rental in the future. It's currently it's sold for a flat fee of US$300.

That's right, Apple might be laying the groundwork for a subscription service or fee for its Final Cut Pro software. As PA notes, Final Cut Pro is currently a $299.99 one-off payment on the App Store. The development clearly indicates Apple might be planning to change how users pay for one of its most popular bits of software, but there are of course numerous ways it could go about this.

Apple could for instance eliminate the flat fee altogether, instead charging a subscription fee to users for access to the software. Equally, it could retain the flat fee and offer the subscription as an alternative, perhaps with new or different features/access to clearly differentiate between the two.

Apple is pushing its subscription services and bundles, such as Apple Music, Fitness+, Apple TV+, and Apple One, there is every possibility that Apple could look to bundle its 'Pro' software with an existing subscription, or as part of a 'Pro' package of apps like Logic or Mainstage.

Charging a subscription for software is a highly contentious issue, and even small updates to apps like Tweetbot that introduce subscriptions are often met with poor reactions from users.

How would you feel about a subscription option for FCP? Would you be more or less likely to keep/start using the software as a result? Let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9