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First Wave of Mac App Store Apps Features Broad Range of Prices

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One of the major questions with the Mac App Store has been whether the same "race to the bottom" effect on pricing seen in the iOS App Store will carry over into the new Mac App Store. The pricing dynamic is even more interesting for the Mac App Store because it reflects a new distribution method for many long-standing Mac developers while also inviting over many developers who have experienced significant success with relatively low-price titles on the iOS side of things.

TUAW has taken a look at the Mac App Store's offerings in the UK, finding 959 unique applications appearing a total of 2,004 times, as some applications are tagged to appear in multiple categories. Today's press release announcing the launch of the Mac App Store cited over 1,000 applications, suggesting that the U.S. store may include a somewhat greater number of applications than in other countries.




TUAW's analysis of pricing in the Mac App Store does in fact reveal a disparity, with two general groups: a low-priced group ranging from free to $5 that carries a heavy emphasis on iOS titles ported to the Mac platform and a higher-priced group operating primarily in a range of $10-$50 and weighted toward existing Mac applications taking advantage of the new distribution method.
As you can see, apps broadly fall into a few pricing categories. Almost half of the apps in the Mac App Store are in the cheap-and-free sub-$5 bracket; an informal survey reveals a lot of ports of iOS games falling into this area. There's then a bit of a no-mans-land between $5-10; then huge numbers of apps in the $10-50 brackets. Again, informally surveying the store, these appear to be mostly traditional Mac software packages that have been ported over to the store and broadly maintained their price points.

Finally, we have a small -- but significant -- number of apps above the $50 mark -- price points almost unheard of in the iOS App Store. It will be very interesting indeed to see how sales of these apps go, assuming any of the developers are willing to share that data.
With developers having for the most part set their initial prices without knowledge of what their competitors are doing, it will be interesting to see how the pricing dynamic plays out over time, particularly as the worlds of iOS developers and Mac developers become increasingly enmeshed.

Article Link: First Wave of Mac App Store Apps Features Broad Range of Prices
 

saving107

macrumors 603
Oct 14, 2007
6,376
14
San Jose, Ca
As far as games,

Angry Birds - $9.99 (currently on sale for $4.99)
Osmos - $9.99
Enigmo - $14.99
Bejeweled - $19.99

these same titles are available on the iPhone for $2.99 or less and on the iPad for $4.99 or less, other than angry birds (first game I bought), I don't see the need to pay a third time for a game I already have on my iPhone and iPad. Mac Apps are another story, I have found some new applications for a reasonable price that I might not have discovered previously.

So far I'm liking the idea of having a unified place to purchase applications.
 
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gleepskip

macrumors 6502
Apr 29, 2005
358
566
When will I be able to keep track of sales with Appshopper? :)

Amen!

In further news, the prices are too high. In my survey, sample size of 1, my wife.. err, the respondents.. said that they would never spend $49.99 on LEGO Harry Potter.

Bringing the old Mac software pricing into the new app store makes it look extremely expensive when those BUY buttons are normally .99, 1.29, or 9.99 on the high end for iOS apps.
 
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vastoholic

macrumors 68000
Jan 28, 2009
1,957
1
Tulsa, OK
If I didn't already have it, I would jump all over the Sketchbook Pro introductory price of $29. That is a steal.

Since it recognizes the programs that I already have installed before the mac app store was available, will it offer upgrades through the store as well? Of course the only thing I noticed this on was Aperture, which I get pushed to my computer regardless.
 
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Yamcha

macrumors 68000
Mar 6, 2008
1,809
134
Yeah the prices are quite high for these type of games/apps.. I was hoping it'd be a bit like the iPhone..
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,757
897
here and there but not over there
As far as games,

Angry Birds - $9.99 (currently on sale for $4.99)
Osmos - $9.99
Enigmo - $14.99
Bejeweled - $19.99

these same titles are available on the iPhone for $2.99 or less and on the iPad for $4.99 or less, other than angry birds (first game I bought), I don't see the need to pay a third time for a game I already have on my iPhone and iPad. Mac Apps are another story, I have found some new applications for a reasonable price that I might not have discovered previously.

So far I'm liking the idea of having a unified place to purchase applications.

People are spoiled by cheap apps on the iPhone. I agree, some apps seem overpriced (others extremely cheap), but in general I wouldn't expect them to go down a lot. I would expect them to be a bit less the through the 'conventional' channels. But it is no realistic to expect everything to be between $.99 and $4.99 (Developers also need to live)
 
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Žalgiris

macrumors 6502a
Aug 3, 2010
934
0
Lithuania
It will take about a year for things to settle down. From what i see there are maybe 50 really good apps and rest is crap. Some apps are too funny.
 
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MasterHowl

macrumors 65816
Oct 3, 2010
1,024
55
North of England
I'm very happy with the prices in general on the App Store :)

£8.99 for an iLife '11 Application is MEGA good! and the fact you can buy them separately is just fantastic. I'm thinking of buying all three though, even though I only really use iPhoto...

Aperture is AMAZINGLY prices! I was not expecting that! I kind of wish I didn't have CS5 so I could buy it. Maybe I will, hmmmm.

Only thing is... WHERE IS iWORK '11 ?!?!?! :(

Gutted...
 
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runeapple

macrumors 6502a
Mar 5, 2010
654
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

I am a developer of a free app, how can you cover costs of 99 a year, ads can't really be put on them like iOS

Also this unified update system how does this work? I currently use Sparkle for updates?
 
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nunes013

macrumors 65816
May 24, 2010
1,282
185
Connecticut
is it that hard to port it to mac os x. i dont code so i dont know but it seems like developers will price these apps a lot higher like between $5-$20. this personally would keep me from buying them. i wouldnt mind >$5 but anything more is kind of pushing my limit for most apps. if they are big like need for speed or madden then i wouldnt mind paying a little more. this is for ios games. if it is software like djay or clean my mac then i wouldnt spending more. i guess im saying if its a little time consuming game then i would be cheaper.

this is also what keeps a lot of my friends from buying apps in both the mac and ios stores. they said they like android because most apps are free. they could care less about hardware. they just dont want to spend money and most arent techy so they dont know about open and closed. a lot are converting for this reason.
 
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canyonblue737

macrumors 65816
Jan 10, 2005
1,397
1,200
Since it recognizes the programs that I already have installed before the mac app store was available, will it offer upgrades through the store as well? Of course the only thing I noticed this on was Aperture, which I get pushed to my computer regardless.

The short answer is no, it will not offer updates. The long answer, confirmed by several major developers including Panic will be confusing to many. Basically when the App store says "Installed" to an app you had previously installed from elsewhere it is as a protection to prevent you from buying the same app again by mistake, nothing more. To get updates from the App store you MUST HAVE PURCHASED THE APP FROM THE MAC APP STORE. Period. That includes Apple apps, for example an iPhoto update appeared in software updates but not the App store updates despite it showing that I had iPhoto "installed." This will slowly get cured for most users as major new versions are released and users buy them (no upgrade remember) from the App store. Panic used Coda as an example. Coda 1.7 is on the App store. If you previously installed it the App store shows it is installed but will never offer updates even if Panic adds 1.7.1 to the App store. If you buy it today from the App store than it will. The real solution will be Coda 2.0 coming soon, a whole new app with a requirement to repurchase at which time previous Coda users wanting to "upgrade" can go to the App Store and buy it there allowing future updates to be in one place.

Clear as mud?
 
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mdriftmeyer

macrumors 68040
Feb 2, 2004
3,297
1,023
Pacific Northwest
People are spoiled by cheap apps on the iPhone. I agree, some apps seem overpriced (others extremely cheap), but in general I wouldn't expect them to go down a lot. I would expect them to be a bit less the through the 'conventional' channels. But it is no realistic to expect everything to be between $.99 and $4.99 (Developers also need to live)

Not to mention the fact the game is no longer constrained to iOS [however solid a gaming platform still isn't as broad as standard OS X] and can differentiate itself wildly by extensions and much more.
 
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Doctor Q

Administrator
Staff member
Sep 19, 2002
38,441
4,950
Los Angeles
This analysis is welcome but probably premature. Software developers are waiting to see what reaction they get (how many sales) and will no doubt experiment with prices to find the "sweet spot". That still happens regularly with iOS apps too but there's more collective experience.

Mac App Store sales will drive prices one way or another. I'd like to see this same chart in 3 or 6 months.
 
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0815

macrumors 68000
Jul 9, 2010
1,757
897
here and there but not over there
is it that hard to port it to mac os x.

This of course depends on the app. One big difference are the UI Components: all the iOS stuff are touched based components and Mac is 'mouse' based components with different looks, feels, sizes. So the minimum for UI based applications is to create a new UI in the designer and 'rewire' it with the application. But that will not often as straight forward as many think since mouse based applications often require a complete different design than touch. Less UI heavy and more graphics application might be somewhat easier, but of course the different screen resolution or window sizes add a whole new dimension to the (dynamic) scaling which is not necessary on iOS devices.

Bottom line: it might be very time consuming. I read somewhere else that many developers spend ~four weeks on this (I would have expected more) - but that report did not really detail what kind of apps that were.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

macrumors G3
Nov 26, 2007
9,058
4,994
The short answer is no, it will not offer updates. The long answer, confirmed by several major developers including Panic will be confusing to many. Basically when the App store says "Installed" to an app you had previously installed from elsewhere it is as a protection to prevent you from buying the same app again by mistake, nothing more. To get updates from the App store you MUST HAVE PURCHASED THE APP FROM THE MAC APP STORE. Period. That includes Apple apps, for example an iPhoto update appeared in software updates but not the App store updates despite it showing that I had iPhoto "installed." This will slowly get cured for most users as major new versions are released and users buy them (no upgrade remember) from the App store. Panic used Coda as an example. Coda 1.7 is on the App store. If you previously installed it the App store shows it is installed but will never offer updates even if Panic adds 1.7.1 to the App store. If you buy it today from the App store than it will. The real solution will be Coda 2.0 coming soon, a whole new app with a requirement to repurchase at which time previous Coda users wanting to "upgrade" can go to the App Store and buy it there allowing future updates to be in one place.

Clear as mud?

Your explanation is clear but convoluted.

It sounds very un-apple like. Where is the magic of "it just works"?

As far as pricing... I have no idea what to expect. I think I'll buy my games on Steam rather than the Mac App Store... the whole syncing between computers + low prices + lots of modding abilities is really nice. As far as productivity apps, it's nice to hear how low the prices are.

How is Final Cut Pro doing? I've wanted that application for the last two years since I took a video production class in school and I got to see how amazing the program was, but at $500, I just can't justify the purchase. If it's somewhere around $100 I'll think about it...
 
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