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Mac App Store hastens Apple's plans to cease boxed software sales - rumor

post #1 of 105
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A new rumor suggests that Apple plans to cease all sales of boxed software at its retail stores, instead relying solely on digital distribution through the Mac App Store.

The plan to stop sales of boxed software at Apple's retail stores is apparently moving quicker than expected, according to MacRumors. Justification for the alleged change-in-progress includes the fact that boxed software takes up a large amount of shelf space in retail stores, even though the profitability of software is well beneath devices like the iPhone or Macs.

"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," the report said.

Though major software options like Microsoft Office are not yet available for download, Apple has made much of its most popular software, including the iWork and iLife suites, available for purchase. Those applications were immediately available when the storefront debuted as part of the Snow Leopard operating system in early January.

Apple's own software has found initial success on the Mac App Store, with higher-priced options like Aperture 3, for $79, ranking among the top-selling options. That's a major change from popular iPhone App Store applications, which typically cost just 99 cents.

Still, software isn't a big component in Apple's bottom line, even with Apple taking a 30 percent cut of all paid downloads from the App Store. In the first fiscal quarter of 2011 -- Apple's most successful three-month span ever -- the company reported revenue in its "Software, Service and Other Sales" category of $786 million.

That was the company's second-smallest business segment in terms of revenue, ahead of "Peripherals and Other Hardware," which accounted for $593 million. For comparison, the iPad business, which is less than a year old, amassed $4.6 billion in revenue for the quarter.

The Mac App Store was Apple's first step toward bringing features of iOS, its mobile operating system that powers the iPhone and iPad, to the Mac platform. The company plans to further pursue that vision this summer with the launch of Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, of which the Mac App Store will be a defining feature.
post #2 of 105
Good-bye boxed software! I can't wait for day when all software is licensed to the individual and no longer tied a specific computer or DRM'd by a specific media format.
post #3 of 105
Physical media is a PITA frankly, and nearly everything is available for download these days. I do feel sorry for those who will lose their jobs because Apple stops making packaging materials.
post #4 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A new rumor suggests that Apple plans to cease all sales of boxed software at its retail stores, instead relying solely on digital distribution through the Mac App Store....

Great move.

I think they will "handle" Adobe and Microsoft by simply not carrying them in the store. Having them in the Apple store doesn't do anything for computer sales.
post #5 of 105
While I can see Apple stores overhauling the display space used for boxed apps, I don't believe they'll cease to sell apps or boxed apps in store.

You still need a showcase space where people who come into the store can see what is available, and even better if they can try out some of the software in store. I'd like to see the "wall-o-boxes" replaced with an interactive display that let's one fire up a demo of any software.
post #6 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Great move.

I think they will "handle" Adobe and Microsoft by simply not carrying them in the store. Having them in the Apple store doesn't do anything for computer sales.

I think it's overall a good move, and, although having (or not having) Adobe boxed software in the Apple Store probably doesn't do anything for computer sales, I'm not so sure that the same is true for Microsoft Office. Think what you want of it, but there are still lots of people who feel they have to have it, and want to be able to take it home with their new computer.
post #7 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by dualie View Post

Physical media is a PITA frankly, and nearly everything is available for download these days. I do feel sorry for those who will lose their jobs because Apple stops making packaging materials.

Not at all concerned about reducing packing material manufacturing, burning up trees and oil to make wasteful paper and plastics. Industry evolves and workers need to as well.
post #8 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The plan to stop sales of boxed software at Apple's retail stores is apparently moving quicker than expected, according to MacRumors.

All? How are they going to sell and install Mac OS X software? Hopefully they can figure out how to make 8GB USB flash drives for Mac OS X Lion cheap enough, but that is still a partition.

There is another option that would eliminate physical media for rich OS updates altogether, but thats probably still too involved and complex for Apple to pursue at this time.

Quote:
Though major software options like Microsoft Office are not yet available for download, Apple has made much of its most popular software, including the iWork and iLife suites, available for purchase. Those applications were immediately available when the storefront debuted as part of the Snow Leopard operating system in early January.

To be clear, MS Office and Adobe products are available for DL, just not through the Mac App Store. If Apple isnt make much money on those suites as it is it might behoove them to eliminate them altogether. How many are buying these apps at Apple Stores and apple.com anyway?
post #9 of 105
This will be great idea only if they go global with it (i live in bosnia and herzegovina and i want be to be able to buy mac os x software). until then they are only greedy profitmakers.
post #10 of 105
The software I can live with but they need to keep the family pack or it's equivalent.

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.
post #11 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

The software I can live with but they need to keep the family pack or it's equivalent.

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.

I agree with the family pack, but not with the optical drive, let it die. The mac pro will most likely be the last to keep them. But within 3-5 yrs. they will be completely gone from the mac lineup
post #12 of 105
I think the software in the retail store was there mainly for switchers. To reassure them that everything they need is available on Mac. Maybe the I'm a Mac/PC TV ad's demise is a sign that there is less focus is on switchers now and likewise less emphasis on the displaying the available software titles in the store. Plus they need that space for iOS accessories.

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post #13 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by xsylote View Post

This will be great idea only if they go global with it (i live in bosnia and herzegovina and i want be to be able to buy mac os x software). until then they are only greedy profitmakers.

Gonna explain how you even came close to that conclusion or can we just write this post off?
post #14 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddykane View Post

Not at all concerned about reducing packing material manufacturing, burning up trees and oil to make wasteful paper and plastics. Industry evolves and workers need to as well.

Not to sound heartless, but I too, like this move away from packaging, shipping, etc. It sounds "greener" to me. Just a side note, most people recognize the impact on trees but there is also a major impact on water pollution....to get that paper "white" takes a lot of processing, water, bleaching not to mention the toxic inks used. I think this is a winner and I commend Apple for leading the way! Again!

I myself refuse to take the very attractive Apple plastic bags when I buy at the Apple store. I heard that Apple was doing away with the plastic bags...

I would like to see Apple stop using the current very beautiful packing boxes for iMacs, Laptops, etc. and go to basic cardboard with a simple black logo and UPC code on them. I understand products for display still need attractive packaging the but boxes kept in the back don't.

I understand Apple's emphasis on "elegance" but again, for the boxes kept in the back they could be plain boxes made out of recycled paper, etc. I'm sure the boxes would be top class knowing Apple!

Best
post #15 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.

Why would you want to keep something so large, so slow, so limited and so unused in 2011 compared to the internet and other forms of data transfers? If people need an optical drive on a notebook they can buy one that has it like people did in the past when technology made the inevitable change over or use an external one for the few times they need it, but why should everyone else suffer for it? Somehere has posted an x-ray pic of a MacBook Pro with the optical drive taking up 25% of the entire internal space. Thats a lot!
post #16 of 105
This only concern I've had with the Mac App store is how corporate (EPP) discounts would be handled. I asked someone at the Apple Store about this a few months ago and he didn't know, thought there would be some way to handle this whether it be a discount code used on the App Store or physical media still be sold through retail stores. Seeing the discount on Aperture alleviates some of this concern, although I doubt this sort of discount will be applied across the board. I currently get something like 26% off Apple software (I paid about $140 each for Final Cut Express and Aperture). I've been waiting to see if they discount Logic Express as much on the App Store as they have for Aperture (if so, I'll be buying immediately). If this is the case, then I've no worries at all about the elimination of EPP discounts for software...!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I think they will "handle" Adobe and Microsoft by simply not carrying them in the store. Having them in the Apple store doesn't do anything for computer sales.

I have to disagree with this. I personally took someone to the Apple Store to purchase hardware, and the only reason the purchase was made was because they were able to walk out with MS Office on the spot (this was at 8:30pm for a presentation that was being given at 8am the next morning).

I wonder how many people walk into an Apple Store out of curiosity and make impulse purchases knowing that they can be immediately productive by walking out the door with a computer and a copy of Office (most people probably won't be swayed with the argument that iWork or OpenOffice are acceptable alternatives, even though I switched to iWork years ago and haven't even bothered to install Office on my personal Mac in five years).
post #17 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Great move.

I think they will "handle" Adobe and Microsoft by simply not carrying them in the store. Having them in the Apple store doesn't do anything for computer sales.

They may not display them on the sales floor, but I'm sure they will still keep boxed copies in the back for the customers who need them.

Apple sells a lot of Microsoft Office.
I just checked the Apple online store and it is #7 in the software category.
It is also the only non-Apple title in the top 10.
post #18 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

I agree with the family pack, but not with the optical drive, let it die. The mac pro will most likely be the last to keep them. But within 3-5 yrs. they will be completely gone from the mac lineup

They need to somehow bring the family pack concept to the Mac App Store. Yes, you can "share" by authorizing computers via an iTunes account, but what about the situation where various family members have their own iTunes accounts and software needs, with some overlap in the latter. Of course, if the prices drop enough so that 5 purchases cost no more than a family pack would, then maybe that's a moot point.
post #19 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.

Well, not for now anyway. But I can see a day in the future when optical drives are as quaint as gramaphones.
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post #20 of 105
I know it's inevitable, but the one drawback I see with abandoning physical media is that you can no longer buy/sell second hand software. Not a big issue for the stuff that Apple sells, but the second hand market for some expensive software (and especially games) was a useful arena for a lot of people.
post #21 of 105
There is no way this is going to happen in the near or medium term.

As someone mentioned, there is the issue of software on discs, which is still a thriving secondary market, then there is the issue of bandwidth. Most of the country does not have broadband.

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post #22 of 105
They have some symbiosis because Adobe Design Suite CS5 is loaded in all of the higher end computers on display in the Apple Store.

I went in yesterday to look at the high resolution MacBook Pro displays to see if my eyes could deal with it and it worked nice because I built a quick website in the store with the software I use all day.

They apparently want to push CS5.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Great move.

I think they will "handle" Adobe and Microsoft by simply not carrying them in the store. Having them in the Apple store doesn't do anything for computer sales.
post #23 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There is no way this is going to happen in the near or medium term.

As someone mentioned, there is the issue of software on discs, which is still a thriving secondary market, then there is the issue of bandwidth. Most of the country does not have broadband.

Yes, and it's a secondary market that most software publishers would do almost anything to put an end to. The bandwidth issue is more important, but lots of people have to deal with that today to get OS X security and system updates, which are often larger than most software would be, so, I'm not sure that will hold this back much.
post #24 of 105
I wonder if the "greenies" are keeping tabs on this. I'm sure they won't give Apple a gold star for eschewing paper packaging, but they will slap them with a red F for having too many gas guzzler tax-eligible cars in their parking lots.
post #25 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post

Not to sound heartless, but I too, like this move away from packaging, shipping, etc. It sounds "greener" to me. Just a side note, most people recognize the impact on trees but there is also a major impact on water pollution....to get that paper "white" takes a lot of processing, water, bleaching not to mention the toxic inks used. I think this is a winner and I commend Apple for leading the way! Again!

I myself refuse to take the very attractive Apple plastic bags when I buy at the Apple store. I heard that Apple was doing away with the plastic bags...

I would like to see Apple stop using the current very beautiful packing boxes for iMacs, Laptops, etc. and go to basic cardboard with a simple black logo and UPC code on them. I understand products for display still need attractive packaging the but boxes kept in the back don't.

I understand Apple's emphasis on "elegance" but again, for the boxes kept in the back they could be plain boxes made out of recycled paper, etc. I'm sure the boxes would be top class knowing Apple!

Best

Are you nuts? Do you know how many people watch the Apple un-boxing p0rn videos? It would be so boring without the elegant packaging.
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post #26 of 105
I almost never buy software directly from Apple because of the great discounts I can get shopping retailers like Amazon, Newegg, Purplus, etc.

If boxed software eventually disappears for the Mac platform, my costs as a consumer may increase! That would really suck.
post #27 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Gonna explain how you even came close to that conclusion or can we just write this post off?

with online purcases they will only increase profit. but they must go globally with it (so even i in bosnia can buy apple software) or leave boxed software for countries where they don't have app/itunes store.
post #28 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

The software I can live with but they need to keep the family pack or it's equivalent.

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bcahill009 View Post

I agree with the family pack, but not with the optical drive, let it die. The mac pro will most likely be the last to keep them. But within 3-5 yrs. they will be completely gone from the mac lineup

I don't doubt that optical drives will become less important over time, but DVD-R is the most feasible (cheap/reliable) way to backup large, critical datasets. How the hell would you replace that?

Currently, my still photos alone take 2-3 DVD-Rs a month, and we make 2 copies, 1 for offsite. This is not stuff I'm going to store in the cloud; I am not willing to pay monthly fees for that when I can buy blank DVDs for 30-40 cents each, ONE TIME COST. No monthly costs, no connectivity requirements or download time. But more than that, I don't trust cloud services with data or photos that you need to keep indefinitely. There's no guarantee that any of these (especially the smaller) firms will even be around 5-10 years from now, and there have been cases where companies just went offline and data was gone.

I do think that eventually optical drives will slowly disappear (although it will be quite some time). I have no interest in putting family photos/video online, but I am concerned about changing media formats. What else do people use now? What are we going to be using 5 years from now? Flash/SD card keep increasing in density, is it possible that they become used for both capture and archival? Is anyone else concerned about this?
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post #29 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

Are you nuts? Do you know how many people watch the Apple un-boxing p0rn videos? It would be so boring without the elegant packaging.

Yep! Forget I mentioned it!
post #30 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon View Post

The software I can live with but they need to keep the family pack or it's equivalent.

But what ever they do DON'T remove the optical drive from the larger systems, i.e., the MacBook Pro's, iMacs and Mac Pro's.

You mean like they removed the floppy drive from the original iMac? I remember the whining and crying, the sarcastic questions about how to save and transport files without physical media. Same thing, different decade.
post #31 of 105
What happens to folks still with Tiger or Leopard, is there app store in those releases now?
post #32 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

I went in yesterday to look at the high resolution MacBook Pro displays to see if my eyes could deal with it and it worked nice because I built a quick website in the store with the software I use all day.

Bit off-topic here, but I'm eyeing the high-res 15" as a replacement for my (now-ancient) first-gen MBP and would love to see how the display compares to the standard resolution. From a bit of Googling it seems that the high-res display is a BTO option and, as such, not something Apple shows off in the stores. Were you able to find one on display?
post #33 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

What happens to folks still with Tiger or Leopard, is there app store in those releases now?

I'm guessing a lot of the new-releases will require Snow Leopard. Tiger's been deprecated anyway.
post #34 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blah64 View Post

I don't doubt that optical drives will become less important over time, but DVD-R is the most feasible (cheap/reliable) way to backup large, critical datasets. How the hell would you replace that?

Currently, my still photos alone take 2-3 DVD-Rs a month, and we make 2 copies, 1 for offsite. This is not stuff I'm going to store in the cloud; I am not willing to pay monthly fees for that when I can buy blank DVDs for 30-40 cents each, ONE TIME COST. No monthly costs, no connectivity requirements or download time. But more than that, I don't trust cloud services with data or photos that you need to keep indefinitely. There's no guarantee that any of these (especially the smaller) firms will even be around 5-10 years from now, and there have been cases where companies just went offline and data was gone.

I do think that eventually optical drives will slowly disappear (although it will be quite some time). I have no interest in putting family photos/video online, but I am concerned about changing media formats. What else do people use now? What are we going to be using 5 years from now? Flash/SD card keep increasing in density, is it possible that they become used for both capture and archival? Is anyone else concerned about this?

Hard Drive Dock $40-70
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/Newer...ard_Drive_Dock

2 Tb hard drive $79
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16822148413

Even adding a second hard drive, it is still cheaper per gigabyte then your disc's (unless my math is wrong-it can happen). Imho this is also far simpler and more convenient then messing around with individual dvd's. And while a hard drive can fail, disc's can get data rot.
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post #35 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

What happens to folks still with Tiger or Leopard, is there app store in those releases now?

They will be "forced" to upgrade if they want to get future updates and software. Just like ios I expect apple to only support the current generation and the one previous will all updates and features.
post #36 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Logisticaldron View Post

All? How are they going to sell and install Mac OS X software? Hopefully they can figure out how to make 8GB USB flash drives for Mac OS X Lion cheap enough, but that is still a partition.

They already are. My new MBA came with OSX on a USB stick. I re-installed OSX the moment I received it to make sure it worked. So much faster than using the CD.

Just because they are removing shelf-space does not mean they will not keep boxed-copies in the back room. Just devote a small space somewhere with pick-up slips to give to the front-desk. I don't have a problem with that.

I do hope they don't totally move away from CD software. I could care less about the packaging but I can see times where if I have to re-install OSX for whatever reason, I may not have broadband for whatever reason and would prefer to re-load from CD or USB-sticks. It's a mixed-blessing though since I can recall only one or two moments in the past few years where I used my CD drive for that.

The less moving components in a computer, the better the reliability as far as I'm concerned.
post #37 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddykane View Post

Not at all concerned about reducing packing material manufacturing, burning up trees and oil to make wasteful paper and plastics. Industry evolves and workers need to as well.

Hear, hear!
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post #38 of 105
This could be a sly move on Apple's part to get more credit card details into iTunes.
post #39 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

They may not display them on the sales floor, but I'm sure they will still keep boxed copies in the back for the customers who need them.

Apple sells a lot of Microsoft Office.
I just checked the Apple online store and it is #7 in the software category.
It is also the only non-Apple title in the top 10.

Several people have pointed out that it's something that customers would want to get in their store (Office), but I think you're looking at it wrong when you talk about how popular it is. As the main article tells us, even if it was at the top of the list, the total amount of sales is minimal in dollars and cents. The only reason to keep it is for the customer assurance, not the money or the sales.

That being said, I know Microsoft has talked (and talked and talked) about delivering their software online for many years and I remember reading articles from five years ago that talked about it being just around the corner. Now that Apple has beaten them to it (again!), I would expect that even if they aren't in the Mac app store, they will find some way to offer it online.

So perhaps Apple would hand out the link to people, perhaps they would let people download it right in the store, maybe they would set it up for them, but I don't see it as a really big hurdle and I don't see them removing all the software boxes for their own products, yet leaving MS Office on the shelf all by itself.

At my workplace, we buy a blanket licence for the whole place and people individually download it to their computers from a central server. We haven't used disks for a long long time. I think there must be some way to accommodate the Office users even if it's just selling them a coupon with a keycode and a URL to download on it.
post #40 of 105
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbonner View Post

What happens to folks still with Tiger or Leopard, is there app store in those releases now?

Great idea but how with the App Store distribute OSX Lion? The only way that comes to mind is a physical DVD.
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