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

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 104
    dualiedualie Posts: 333member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 104
    jb510jb510 Posts: 124member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 104
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 104
    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 that?s 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 isn?t 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?
  • Reply 8 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 104
    timontimon Posts: 152member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 104
    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
  • Reply 11 of 104
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 104
    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?
  • Reply 13 of 104
    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
  • Reply 14 of 104
    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. That?s a lot!
  • Reply 15 of 104
    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).
  • Reply 16 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 104
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,578member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 104
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 104
    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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