Selling through Web Stores vs. Mac App Store (MAS)

The feedback we’ve received about MAS so far is that most developers view it in a similar light to their view of Apple®’s retail store channel: as a new distribution channel that complements their web store and any other existing distribution channels.

Most Mac® software firms plan to keep their own web stores open for business indefinitely (rather than giving the reins over entirely to Apple and closing their own stores). As one developer pointed out on the Macintosh Software Business forum, “In the scheme of things, the additional work to setup and maintain an online store through a provider like FastSpring is negligible.”

“ For developers, however, there are quite a few cons to the Mac App Store, when compared to selling on our own. To rattle off a few of these, there appear to be no trials, no paid upgrades, no access to customer information, no coupons, and no ability to ship updates outside of the store. As well, the list of allowable software is quite narrow and the fees (Apple's 30%) are much higher than developers currently pay to payment processors. ”

Paul Kafasis, Rogue Amoeba

Feedback to Date

Here is a collection of feedback we’ve seen and heard from Mac publishers and bloggers about why most Mac software publishers will keep their web stores running as always:

Additional Benefits of Selling Outside the MAS

“ The lesson I'm drawing from this: the MAS is just another sales channel and having an app there does not relieve you of your obligations to market it properly… I realize that a few apps have caught fire in the MAS, and congratulations to those developers! For them the App Store is a home run and I am happy for their success. But for most of us, I suspect, the App Store will not prove a game-changer. ”

Kevin Walser, Code By Kevin

Further Reading

“The Mac App Store isn’t for today’s Mac developers” by Marco Arment

“Mac App Store ‘disruptive,’ say experts” by Gregg Keizer

“Quick Thoughts on the Mac App Store”

“The Mac App Store: The devil will be in the details”

“Developers have hopes, questions for Mac App Store”

“The Mac App Store, The Good & Bad”

“Releasing Outside the App Store”

“Sandbox of frustration: Apple’s walled garden closes in on Mac developers” by Ellis Hamburger