Apple Kills Physical Media with Launch of App Store
Many of us watch movies via Netflix, Hulu, and other services instead of ever waiting for a disc to spin up. And when's the last time anyone went to a Blockbuster? With DVD winding down, Apple has famously sat out Blu-ray, with Steve Jobs calling the format a "bag of hurt." With iTunes and Apple TV, Apple has worked towards eliminating the CD and DVD, respectively. Will the launch of today's Mac App Store do the same for software on disc?
I finally replaced my five year-old MacBook Pro (which I bought with grant money, and which is currently available on eBay) with a new MacBook Air this holiday season. Because the Air lacks a DVD drive, it comes with a USB key containing the OS, eliminating disc-based media. With the App Store, Apple is one step closer to getting rid of physical media all together. But will it be how we buy all Mac software, or will it be limited to smaller apps? TechCrunch's take:
It’s also not yet known just how many of the bigger software makers will follow Apple’s lead and put their software in the Mac App Store. While it may seem to make sense for Adobe to put Photoshop in the store, and Microsoft to put Office in there, they’d have to pay 30 percent of all the revenue made off of those sales back to Apple, something which they don’t have to do distributing the software via disc.
That's true, assuming you buy the disc directly from Adobe or Microsoft -- if you buy it from Amazon or B&H, for example, the software developer is still coughing up a percentage to the store. Because the App Store allows Mac users to find and update apps more easily, I'd expect most developers to jump on board -- the 30% cut will be a small price to pay if they're able to "ship" more units. This does beg the question of software suites like Office and Adobe's Creative Suite, however -- note that in the App Store you can buy the iLife '11 apps individually instead of as a bundle. For example, you can purchase iMovie '11 for $14.99 instead of the whole iLife package for $50 (iMovie '11 includes some interesting new features that might be worth checking out if you're doing low-end video editing). While smaller developers will almost certainly sign up for the store, It will be interesting to see if developers like Adobe and Microsoft will feel comfortable giving Apple 30% -- or would they prefer to sell through their own web sites, shunning the App Store? Stay tuned.
The full Press Release:
Apple's Mac App Store Opens for Business
CUPERTINO, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)— Apple® today announced that the Mac® App Store℠ is now open for business with more than 1,000 free and paid apps. The Mac App Store brings the revolutionary App Store experience to the Mac, so you can find great new apps, buy them using your iTunes® account, download and install them in just one step. The Mac App Store is available for Snow Leopard® users through Software Update as part of Mac OS® X v10.6.6.
"With more than 1,000 apps, the Mac App Store is off to a great start," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We think users are going to love this innovative new way to discover and buy their favorite apps."
The Mac App Store offers apps in Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity, Utilities and other categories. Users can browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what's hot, see staff favorites, search categories and look up top charts for paid and free apps, as well as user ratings and reviews.
Entirely new apps, as well as current Mac favorites, are available from developers such as Autodesk, Ancestry.com and Boinx. iPhoto®, iMovie® and GarageBand® apps from Apple's popular iLife® ‘11 suite are available individually in the Mac App Store for $14.99 each, and Pages®, Keynote® and Numbers® apps from iWork® are available for $19.99 each. Aperture® 3, Apple's powerful photo editing and management software, is available for $79.99.
"We're delighted to bring our professional-grade paint and drawing app, Autodesk SketchBook Pro, to the Mac App Store on its first day of launch," said Carl Bass, Autodesk's CEO. "We've seen tremendous success on the Mac, iPhone and iPad with multiple apps. We're excited to offer SketchBook Pro on the Mac App Store so artists can easily create everything from quick sketches to high-quality artwork right on their Macs."
"By offering the Ancestry.com Family Tree Maker app on the Mac App Store, we're making it even easier for people to discover and access their family history," said Tim Sullivan, Ancestry.com's CEO. "The Mac App Store will drive a new generation of innovation on the Mac platform."
"We're thrilled to have our award-winning animation, video production and photography software available on the new Mac App Store," said Oliver Breidenbach, Boinx Software's CEO. "The Mac App Store makes it easier than ever for consumers to access all the innovative software designed for the Mac."
To get the Mac App Store, download the Mac OS X v10.6.6 Software Update or visit www.apple.com/mac/app-store. To find out more about developing for the Mac App Store visit developer.apple.com/programs/mac.
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple is reinventing the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.