The Disruptive Power of Apple's Mac App Store

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Stealing away buzz from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Apple unveiled its Mac App Store today. Like an iPhone App Store for your  computer, it offers a wide-array of free and paid third-party software like Angry Birds, Aperture and an official Twitter app. "The interface will be instantly familiar to anyone who has used the App Store in iTunes or on an iPad," writes Wired's Charlie Sorrel. Part of the reason tech enthusiasts are so excited about the store is its potential to transform the economics of consumer software. A quick visit to the Mac App Store reveals a wide assortment of apps between $2.99 and $5.99--a big price drop compared to software packages one would buy at, say, Best Buy for $50 and $60. Tech writers examine the store's disruptive potential:

  • Expect Success, writes Jonny Evans at Computer World: "Almost everything Apple touches turns into a big business--even the second iteration of Apple TV has already sold a substantial million units--the Mac App Store will be no different. A recent report from Citibank claimed Apple's existing App Store will generate up to $2 billion in revenue in 2011 alone. With the introduction of the new Mac App Store, expect significant upside here."
  • Old School Software Developers Will Be Crushed, writes David Gewirtz at ZDNet: "Games priced at $20-60 will be competing against games priced at 99 cents to $4.99. The most expensive iOS games are around ten bucks. In effect, game pricing will drop by 90-95%--on average... Traditional Mac developers are in for a world of hurt."
  • This Could Create a New Class of Software, MG Siegler at TechCrunch: "This store may give rise to a whole new crop of small apps that otherwise might get lost in the sea of web apps--or not exist at all. You could certainly make the case that great new services like Instagram would have never existed without the iPhone App Store. Perhaps the Mac App Store will lead to developers creating new experiences and a new crop of apps as well."
  • Expect Prices to Get Even Lower, predicts Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry at Business Insider: "App stores, at the end of the day, are marketplaces. On marketplaces, prices are set by supply and demand. Right now, supply is low (not too many apps) and demand is high (plenty of people are starting to play with it). As supply increases, competition will drive prices down. And this even though some apps are discounted for the store's launch."

  • Developers Get a Decent Cut, writes Charles McLellan at ZDNet: "Mac OS X developers get the same deal as their iOS brethren: 70 percent of the revenue, paid monthly, with no hosting, marketing or credit card fees. Presumably Apple will excecise the same tight control over what's permitted on the Mac App Store as it does with mobile apps."

  • Big Opportunites for Developers, writes Jonny Evans at Computer World: "This will boost the market for developers as Apple creates the biggest viable sonline software retail model. That Apple offers developers a viable way to make money, rather than vague promises of success is a big deal. It is a key advantage against all its competitors."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.