Mac app buyers influenced by security more than features or price, survey states

Posted:
in Mac Software
A survey from Mac and iOS subscription service Setapp says that 57% of Mac users buying a new app will consider its security aspect more than features, price -- or privacy.

Setapp surveyed US users and found the MacBook Pro was the most popular Mac
Setapp surveyed US users and found the MacBook Pro was the most popular Mac


Subscription app service Setapp's US-only survey questioned 462 participants over April 14 and 15, 2021. Those questioned ranged from 18 to 60, with 56% women to 44% men. On average, they had 31 Mac apps installed, of which they use 12 daily.

"Security, features, and user experience are the three most important factors that influence a user's decision while choosing a new Mac app," says the report. Some 57% of respondents ranked security as their most important factor, compared to 47% who bought because of features.

Setapp offered users a choice of categories to pick from, and the company separated out security from privacy. That was the most important factor for 35% of people and Setapp told AppleInsider that there is was a clear distinction between security and privacy concerns for the respondents.

"Privacy is about safeguarding a user's personal data, i.e. not sharing it with third-party services," said a spokesperson. "Think about those privacy policies users are asked to read and agree to when they download new apps."

"Security refers to how a user's personal information is protected from unauthorized access, since their data -- different details about them -- may live in a lot of places," the spokesperson continued.

As well as the security and privacy categories, 44% of respondents said that their most important factor when buying was the user experience and interface, while 28% listed price, and 27% said design. There were also 15% who said their choice was mostly influenced by the app developer's reputation, and 2% who rated unspecified other factors.

That separation between design and the user experience/interface was again Setapp's choice in designing the survey. Design is really everything to do with how an app functions and is used, but the company again makes a distinction.

"Design is about visual elements such as colors and typography," said the spokesperson. "User experience is how a user interacts with a product (in the case of the survey, with an app)."

Setapp also broke down more detail of what makes a typical Mac user buy an app -- or choose not to buy -- once their concerns regarding security and other factors were taken into account.

Detail from the survey showing the importance of security to users
Detail from the survey showing the importance of security to users


"Security, features, and user experience are the most important motivators for a user to consider a new Mac app, whether paid or free," said the Setapp spokesperson. "When it comes to purchasing apps, purpose, price, and free trial help them make the final decision."

Once an app was considered secure, 50% of respondents said their chief reason to buy was "purpose -- it does what it says." Then 44% said the choice was because of the cost, with a further 38% saying a free trial persuades them.

On the reasons Mac users reject buying an app, the largest factor was price. Some 42% said they would not buy because it "doesn't fit my budget". There were also 38% who choose against buying because they don't believe they'd use the app regularly, and also 38% who would go for a free alternative instead.

Overall, 3% said they only use free apps, while 3% said the price of the app is not a factor. There was a clear preference for one-time lifetime licences at 36% compared to subscriptions at 14%. However, 38% they were open to either buying or subscribing, depending on the app.

The survey did not ask about specific apps. However, it did ask about what Macs users had. Respondents were able to select multiple answers, but overall a majority of 42% said they had some form of MacBook Pro.

Some 33% owned a MacBook Air, while 20% have an iMac. Curiously, more were on Mac Pro at 18% than Mac mini at 10%.


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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    Interesting. I would hope the Mac App Store gets more downloads and users, then more developers will hop on the bandwagon. Then Mac will have its own “iOS-like” App Store where most apps are downloaded from.

    What happens then? Will Apple get “anti-competitive” and “monopoly” lawsuits even though third party stores are allowed?
  • Reply 2 of 9
    zompzomp Posts: 57member
    We are all about security and we are also of the belief that the cost of software has tumbled since the opening of the App Store along with what we feel is better software than what was available in the past.
    An additional point I'd like to make is that when apple's App Store opened, they also opened the door to a world of garage developers who pushed the iPhone hardware to it's limits. The world was inspired for a platform to bring their dreams to life at no cost. It seems only the big corps are crying fowl about prices becuase like any big corp, they want it all. What was their strategy when Best Buy and Computer City sold software and made 30%? I'm pretty sure Amazon makes money as well. 
    I'm wondering off topic now so I'll put this to rest.
    Beatstwokatmewjony0
  • Reply 3 of 9
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,444member
    zomp said:
    We are all about security and we are also of the belief that the cost of software has tumbled since the opening of the App Store along with what we feel is better software than what was available in the past.
    An additional point I'd like to make is that when apple's App Store opened, they also opened the door to a world of garage developers who pushed the iPhone hardware to it's limits. The world was inspired for a platform to bring their dreams to life at no cost. It seems only the big corps are crying fowl about prices becuase like any big corp, they want it all. What was their strategy when Best Buy and Computer City sold software and made 30%? I'm pretty sure Amazon makes money as well. 
    I'm wondering off topic now so I'll put this to rest.
    Garage developers needed about a million dollars in the past to distribute on a smaller platform for less money. They weren’t making %70 when they sold their product at Best Buy or Computer City. They made more like 10%. Apple has spoiled developers into little brats! (Epic, Spotify, Netflix etc.)
    Fidonet127thtgenovelletwokatmewjony0
  • Reply 4 of 9
     I agree that security is primarily important to me. 
    twokatmew
  • Reply 5 of 9
    thedbathedba Posts: 651member
    Beats said:
    Interesting. I would hope the Mac App Store gets more downloads and users, then more developers will hop on the bandwagon. Then Mac will have its own “iOS-like” App Store where most apps are downloaded from.

    What happens then? Will Apple get “anti-competitive” and “monopoly” lawsuits even though third party stores are allowed?
    Whenever I need an app for my Mac, I always look to the Mac App Store first. Unfortunately I cannot always find what I’m looking for there. 
    I will even get the app needed from the MAS even if it is slightly more expensive than say from the developer’s website. Just the convenience of going through Apple Pay and the fact I don’t have to send my credit card info to yet another site, is well worth it.
    mpschaefergenovellejony0
  • Reply 6 of 9
    ivanhivanh Posts: 564member
    Absolutely.  The nation, background of the app developers and the “Data Linked to You” in the App Privacy are either missing or greatly inadequate. There are still tremendous work to do in security. 
  • Reply 7 of 9
    Less than a thousand respondents, no word on whether or not the people involved were customers of Setapp or not. I don't think we can draw meaningful conclusions from this survey.
    dewme
  • Reply 8 of 9
    dewmedewme Posts: 3,703member
    It’s also important to recognize that we cannot reasonably view any of these factors in isolation. The most secure app in the world is useless if it doesn’t deliver the required functionality, and vice versa. One factor that’s not listed, but one that has a very large influence on my app purchase decision process, is whether the app is a one-time (or one version) purchase versus a subscription. It’s always a combination of factors, but the subscription cloud casts a long shadow over everything. As much as developers would like us to cozy up to subscriptions, with plenty of sound rationale to support their position, it’s a big hurdle for a lot of us.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    verne araseverne arase Posts: 221member
    Setapp actually has a good collection of great apps - maybe more so other than the Apple titles in the Mac App store.
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