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Apple to Eliminate Retail Box Software Inventory

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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With the success of the iTunes App Store and the launch of the Mac App Store, it seems clear that the long term future of software sales is going to be digital distribution. Based on what we've heard, however, Apple is planning on making the move to all digital sooner than expected at their retail stores. Apple is working towards eliminating boxed software and presumably focusing sales through the Mac App Store.

Apple's recent plans to start offering Personal Setup for Mac seems to be in line with that goal.
When you purchase a Mac at an Apple Retail store an employee will help you setup your e-mail accounts, walk you through the Mac App Store, setup an iTunes account for you, and show you the basic pointers of owning a Mac. Some stores will even have dedicated Mac setup stations.
Boxed software also takes up retail space that could be used for higher profit items such as iPad or iPhone accessories. It's not clear how Apple will deal with prominent titles such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop which aren't yet available through the Mac App Store.

While the Mac App Store has been launched for Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, it is also one of the key new components in Mac OS X Lion due out this summer. We expect to hear more about Lion during this year's Worldwide Developer's Conference.

Article Link: Apple to Eliminate Retail Box Software Inventory
 

garybUK

Guest
Jun 3, 2002
1,466
2
I'm guessing they will still sell OSX there though :confused:

Seems a bit dumb to me, not many computer stores sell Mac software, it's one of the only places to buy boxed software, why get rid of it? not everyone wants to use the download service, especially where storage etc is at a premium?
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,370
16
AR
I want to get really upset about this, but it's hard. The Mac App Store is just THAT good. It'll be even better if Apple continues to reduce prices (like Aperture and Remote Desktop) on their major software packages.

However, I do wish they would offer some type of home Apple account sharing (similar to Amazon Prime's sharing) that would allow you to link 3-5 household Apple accounts to your "main" account. They could even require that the billing addresses remain the same or something of that nature.

My brother lives in the same household as me, but has a different Apple ID. Unless I want to add my Apple ID to his Mac, he can't use my software.
 

DocStrange

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2010
12
0
the extra shelf space will undoubtedly be used for more overpriced third-party accessories.
 

iPhoneCollector

macrumors 6502a
Nov 30, 2010
669
0
Home
i think this is just awesome the mac app store is just great and now when they discontinue retail boxes the prices will go down ( not now but in some time) and even if i personally don't care really care but for the green-hippies this is also great news.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
119
Los Angeles
That is certainly one way to help force your user base to upgrade.

I'm sure stores like Best Buy will still carry the boxed software so I doubt people's ability to get a physical copy will be hampered much. I mean, who actually has an Apple Store w/in driving distance but not a store like Best Buy?


Lethal
 

roadbloc

macrumors G3
Aug 24, 2009
8,784
213
UK
Daft idea. Not everyone has internet. Not everyone has internet good enough to download large amounts of software.
 

hcho3

macrumors 68030
May 13, 2010
2,783
0
Speaking of Mac OS, How much will Mac OS lion cost? 29 dollars? 49 dollars? 79 dollars? 99 dollars?

Anyway, everything should come in just USB sticks, no more DVD.
 

ericinboston

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2008
1,883
312
Besides the broadband points...there's a lot to be said for sticking a cd/dvd into a drive and letting it automatically run.

There are a LOT of people out there that have no clue on a)where to download it to, b)how to unzip/unpackage it, and finally c)how to run the download.

There's also a lot to be said for buying something and having it physically on your desk forever if you ever need it again...unlike having to relocate the download, burn it to cd/dvd, etc. or of course if your computer gets nuked.

$15 software? Sure, download it. Stuff that's hundreds of bucks...I want the physical media and box for future use or proof.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,378
3,680
I'm guessing they will still sell OSX there though :confused:

Maybe they'll start selling them on USB keys, if they move away from optical media (MBA).

Besides the broadband points...there's a lot to be said for sticking a cd/dvd into a drive and letting it automatically run.

There are a LOT of people out there that have no clue on a)where to download it to, b)how to unzip/unpackage it, and finally c)how to run the download.

Have you used the Mac App Store? There is none of that.

arn
 

Merthyrboy

macrumors 6502
Jul 21, 2008
490
3
Hopefully that won't happen. I love the boxed software appearance but I suppose with the software linked to your iTunes account there's no messing around with serial numbers and stuff like that.
 

croooow

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2004
1,044
206
While I agree on keeping physical media (CDs, DVDs, etc) available as downloading is not practical for everyone (in the real world, not on this forum) I am glad to see signs of Apple moving toward digital distribution before removing the optical drives from the most popular computers, notebooks.

It is more logical to do it in that order rather than remove the internal OD and still sell CDs and DVDs.
 

talkingfuture

macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2008
1,216
0
The back of beyond.
Seems like the logical progression, although they may loose a few sales it would be good if we see the continued trend of lower prices as we did with Aperture.

ETA: Another precursor to the removal of the optical drives too, could this be the last year or will they hang on a bit longer?
 

notjustjay

macrumors 603
Sep 19, 2003
6,052
159
Canada, eh?
I'm just not comfortable with this idea, though I've been sitting here for a few minutes trying to figure out how to articulate why.

I mean, I guess digital downloads work just as well... and they're cheaper too...

One thing I do fear is that this might play further into the anti-Apple FUD. People already have these mistaken impressions that Macs can't use Office, you can only use Apple's own mouse and keyboard... now are people going to see the lack of boxed software in the Apple store and start the whole "Macs have no software" argument all over again?

It will also make it a bit more difficult to buy software for other people. But that's a pretty weak argument by itself :D
 

BC2009

macrumors 68000
Jul 1, 2009
1,963
318
Only a matter of time now until dvd drive gets axed.

I think Apple would love to get rid of as many moving parts as possible. Anything with a mechanical component is far more subject to failure -- and the SuperDrive is a such a candidate.

What is funny, is that the SuperDrive on my 1-year-old iMac already needed to be replaced. Apple took care of it, but it was a pain carrying the 27-inch beast into the store and sad having to leave it there for a couple of days.

I looked at the Mac Pro while there since I know I can service drives on that myself; however, the superdrive on the MacPro is the not the slot-loading model you get on the iMac, but rather the flimsy slide-out tray that has been the bane of every PC I have owned (e.g.: it typically jams up or the mechanism completely fails).

I would not be at all surprised if Apple just starts offering SuperDrive as a peripheral in the near future.

As for removing boxed software from their retail stores -- probably not a bad move. It takes up tons of space and with the number of people coming into my local Apple store they definitely need more demo stations (or just more Apple stores -- like one closer to my home).
 

dagamer34

macrumors 65816
May 1, 2007
1,359
101
Houston, TX
Besides the broadband points...there's a lot to be said for sticking a cd/dvd into a drive and letting it automatically run.

There are a LOT of people out there that have no clue on a)where to download it to, b)how to unzip/unpackage it, and finally c)how to run the download.

There's also a lot to be said for buying something and having it physically on your desk forever if you ever need it again...unlike having to relocate the download, burn it to cd/dvd, etc. or of course if your computer gets nuked.

$15 software? Sure, download it. Stuff that's hundreds of bucks...I want the physical media and box for future use or proof.

Have you used the Mac App Store? You can take a look at your purchase history and re-download anything you bought at any time.

Unless you're talking about software in general, in which case, I'm sure there will be external DVD drives for use for the 3 times people stick discs into them each year.
 

coochiekuta

macrumors 6502
Nov 6, 2010
258
2
here and there
it will save them a lot of money for their pockets. those that want discs or physical media, can then be charged for it.

a few companies offer ISOs for download but if you need a disc they will send you one, normally free. i dont think apple will be going that route however.
 
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