Mac App Store: Why Now?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sawtooth811, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    Just a curious thought: Since the end of 2007, Apple released the very first iPhone, and the App Store debuted in mid 2008, if I'm not mistaken. After almost three years, can someone legitimately explain why Apple decided to release the App Store for Macs now, in the first week of 2011?

    Could it have been due to the success of the iOS App Store that led to another money-making tactic like this one? Could it have been the fact that Macs have a more preferable interface, and they wanted to release a success like this one?
  2. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    Given the overwhelming success of the iOS app stores, definitely. The time is right.. being able to easily put developer's products in front of more customers means more potential revenue for Apple and it's developers, as well as more developers coming to the platform, which may mean more halo effect for users who have apps they got from the app store and show their friends.
  3. Winni macrumors 68030


    Oct 15, 2008

    One reason is the lack of software for Mac OS X in the non-Apple retail stores and chains that sell Apple hardware. So Apple solved a general problem here -- the software store is built directly into the platform, making it simpler for new users to "switch". At least in theory.

    The second reason, of course, is the additional income through the 30% "Apple tax" that software developers have to pay to Apple for each sale. Since the Mac AppStore is built into the platform, it will quickly become the main, if not the ONLY, way for most people to look for software. And that already is the very reason why Apple should be forced to remove the AppStore application from OS X -- if Microsoft had something like this built into Windows, they would quickly drown in lawsuits. Apple should also be forced to remove iTunes from OS X. But those are different stories.

    The third reason is just speculation at the moment, but it's a scary Orwellian though: The Mac AppStore is a necessary step before they can turn OS X into a Walled Garden platform like iOS. If the AppStore becomes the success that everybody is expecting, the temptation to make it the ONLY way to obtain software will be just to tempting for Steve Jobs to resist. In this scenario, you would have to join the (pay-for) developer program to get an "open" version of OS X, and all other users would basically just have a desktop version of iOS with file access. The system would just refuse to install or execute unsigned applications. And people would applaud this, because Apple would sell it as a feature to avoid malware on their "safe and secure" platform. And that idea isn't even new. Microsoft was talking about similar features for Windows YEARS ago, and their version of Orwell's 1984 was code-named "Palladium". But unlike Microsoft, I think that Apple would actually pull this stunt off.
  4. NewGenAdam macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    Why didn't they release it sooner? Why didn't they release it later?

    Well, the App Store was an iOS creation. There was no immediate incentive to port it to the desktop. Only when its success was clear was there good reason to look into a Mac version. After all, if it had failed there would be little purpose in opening up shop on Mac.

    Then perhaps in late 2009, when opening a Mac App Store was a viable idea, I'd propose that Mac development was on the back-burner and most of Apple's developments were focused on the emerging and prospering iOS.

    Only in 2010 when iOS was fully-fledged did Apple advance Mac OS X again. This happened in the last year or so, and is coming to fruition with OS X Lion, whose first hints are this App Store as well as the new iLife.

    I suggest they released it now rather than with the new OS X because (i) they want it on as many machines as possible, not just new OSs and (ii) there is no reason to delay further.

    Just my thoughts :)
  5. Dizzler macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2009
    I suspect that they are preparing to delete the SuperDrive from all future Macs. One day Mac software will be download only.
  6. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    The app store really didn't take off in 2008, it took time to start building up to what we now see. So the income that apple generated from the app store was minuscule at first, it probably wasn't until late 09 or 10 when they saw profits really rolling in and probably started planning the mac app store then
  7. whooleytoo macrumors 603


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    The iOS App Store has spawned a huge cottage/bedroom industry of small indy developers releasing hugely successful apps/games. There are probably far, far more Cocoa developers now than at any time in the past - so it makes sense for Apple to try and get the same developers to write for OSX as well. And for the indie developers, they get extra revenue without a huge amount of extra work.

    Why not sooner? It takes time to build.. broadband speeds are constantly increasing so downloading larger executables are feasible.. it took time to see if the App Store was a fad or showed sustained interest.
  8. randomerratum macrumors 6502

    Dec 3, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    I don't think you could've had a very successful Mac App Store much earlier... developers are (apparently) very sensitive about curated distribution channels and that ice needed to be broken with a totally new stand-alone platform altogether.

    Once the iPhone/iPod Touch App Store proved to be a monumental success for so many developers, only then do the advantages of a Mac App Store become apparent; A single place for their app to compete with others via a unified ranking system, one-click access and download by millions of customers, unprecedented profit-sharing, services such as update pushing... not to mention the fact that users simply trust the App Store and are more willing to spend a casual few buck there then on some random developer's site.

    I think the Mac App Store has come at the perfect time- developers are clamoring for the business and users are hungry for the products.

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