Originally Posted by mrstep
I think it has more to do with using that retail space for things that generate more revenue. I can't imagine that most people buying Macs / iPods / iPhones aren't some of the 200 million with iTunes accounts. But then - I could just lack imagination.
I don't know what personalized setup has to do cutting software products from the stores. The software sits on wall space - it doesn't take up any room. If they want to cut software from the store because they want people to use the App Store, that's one thing, but it has nothing to do with making physical space available for personalized setup. The space used to sell printers does take up floor space, but in the real world, both in business and at home for photography and other projects, people still need to print, no matter what Apple thinks. I would never buy a printer or scanner at an Apple store anyway, because they generally charge full list price.
I bought my last MacBook Pro from an independent dealer and I bought lots of software at the same time. If they didn't sell software, I would have wound up buying much less. You can negotiate with a sales person, but you can't negotiate with the App Store.
And I still like the idea of having my (expensive) apps on a CD, if only for backup and sales verification purposes.