Mac App Store, a week later Mon, 17 Jan 2011 at 16:51
The Mac App Store (MAS) has been opened for more than a week now, here are our thoughts on this launch.
Ease of use
The key point to me is the ease of use MAS brings. This was expected but I believe it delivers successfully on its promise. Browsing through software is easy and the download is just one click away. I indeed found myself downloading more than I usually do. There is the novelty factor of course but in the end I'm sure software consumption will be higher than before.
Apple sure did lead the way in setting aggressive pricing policy. Aperture is available for 62.99 € in the MAS. Compare this to the 199 € price tag in use through standard retail channels and in the Apple on-line store. Is this a trend or just a marketing act for the launch?
On the other hand, pricing observed for third party developers is, as hypothesized in my last post, mostly on par with their current (non MAS) pricing. This also means that "iOS like applications" or applications ported from iOS are priced in the $0.99 to $9.99 price range, whereas Mac applications are priced $24.99 and above.
I'm fine with this two-tier price structure as long as buyers understand the difference between a iOS like focused application and a full featured Mac application and developers do not try to compete on price only. There should be room for both types. This is good and offers flexibility and choice. Users can buy just what they need.
How big the impact ?
Sure there was buzz about Apple launching the App Store and Apple quickly announced their first "million downloads". Still, I get the feeling that the impact was much more limited than what it was on iOS devices.
My interpretation of this is that there is room for growth and that we'll see MAS adoption growing steadily in the coming months. On iOS devices, the only (official) way to get third-party applications is through the App Store, not so on Mac. It'll take a bit of time for most users to either discover the MAS or change their habits.
I'm thus convinced that an application sales through MAS will not decay as fast as they do on the iOS App Store and that it was less important to be there for the opening. In fact, I believe that being on the MAS will become more important in the future than it is today.