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Ahead of OS X Lion, Mac App Store Sales Numbers Still Comparably Small

During the keynote address at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, Phil Schiller noted that Apple's Mac App Store, launch in early January, has rapidly risen to become the top selling distribution channel for computer software, beating out Best Buy, Walmart, and Office Depot. According to Schiller:
In the last six months, something incredible has happened. In the last six months, the Mac App Store has now become the #1 PC software channel for buying software. That's incredible.
But questions have remained about just how successful the Mac App Store has been, given the smaller installed base compared to iOS and long-standing alternative methods for purchasing software.

Developer Martin Schultz has, however, now provided a look at sales figures for his Hard Rock Racing app, which managed to peak as the #3 paid game and #14 overall paid app in the U.S. earlier this month after being featured by Apple in the "New and Noteworthy" section on the front page of the Mac App Store. According to Schultz, that stellar ranking translated into only 743 sales on the peak day.


While that one-day performance resulted in a solid $2,500 payday for Schultz after Apple's 30% cut of revenue, it's clear that Mac App Store sales fall far short of those seen for iOS apps. We spoke with John Casasanta of iOS developer taptaptap, who shared that his Camera+ application typically pulls in 8,000-12,000 downloads per day when it is ranked around #14 in the overall paid apps for the iOS App Store. Of course, 743 sales on peak day may be better than Schultz might have done through traditional channels or direct online sales. The average sales price for iOS apps also appears to be much lower than Mac Apps, which may also contribute to the volume discrepancy.

Apple is of course working hard to drive adoption of the Mac App Store, opting to distribute its forthcoming OS X Lion exclusively through the store. The company has also released its new Final Cut Pro X apps and other titles such as Aperture, iWork, and iLife through the store. With the Mac App Store set to take on an even larger role in OS X Lion with the addition of such features as in-app purchases and push notifications, Apple is clearly pushing forward in its attempts to replicate the success of the iOS App Store on the Mac platform.

Top Rated Comments

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41 months ago
i'm still not on Snow Leopard, so i can't access the Mac App Store.

there are millions of Mac users who are in the same boat as me.


and i'm not going to "upgrade" to Snow Leopard just to get Lion. such a ridiculous upgrade path.
Rating: 22 Votes
41 months ago

It's a sign of the times. The focus is on mobile and mobile apps.

Post-PC era, folks.

Most of the development is going into mobile platforms. The Mac, while popular and able to hold its own, isn't one.

It isn' that there's a problem with the Mac App Store paradigm - hell, the App Store model works for mobile. The issue is that there is a shift in focus tailing place industry-wide and market-wide when it comes to consumer-grade products and services.


Your posts disgust me.
Rating: 15 Votes
41 months ago

I've only bought 1 item off of the Mac App Store. It was Reeder and I only got it to support the developer.

Other than that, I'll get Lion and likely never use it again. I think piracy is still a huge issue.


What are your reasons for not using it? Don't purchase/download software on a regular basis?

I am sure it will gain heavy traction after Lion is being used everywhere, and people start buying new Macs w/ Lion preinstalled.

I prefer downloading the MAS version of apps if they exist, much easier for updates/installations. No DMGs to worry about discarding of.
Rating: 12 Votes
41 months ago
If I'm shelling out a large amount of money, I'd still rather have physical media. I do buy downloads from online publishers (e.g. Panic and Barebones) but, given Apple's track record in the past on changing rules midway, I'm wary of the App Store.
Rating: 12 Votes
41 months ago
Yeah I just can't see the Mac App Store ever being a huge success... People are just used to the standard way of purchasing software. It's obviously different on iOS devices. Of course it's popular because of how easy it is. If I want to buy some software application for my computer, I'll Google it and purchase it at the developer's website. That's just what I'm used to.
Rating: 11 Votes
41 months ago
I launched the App Store once to LOL at all the terrible FCPX reviews, but that's about it. I personally don't like the idea of things being exclusive to the App Store; I miss the little things like Apple stickers and printed manuals!

Obviously I'll use it for 10.7 because I'm forced to, but overall I am going to continue pursuing other methods of purchase.
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago

Your posts disgust me.


Could not agree more.
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago
I'm torn over this - I want Apple to do well with the MAS, but I certainly don't ever want to see the day where Apple decides that the MAS is the only place to buy Mac software. And it scares me that I think they would like to do that one day, not out of necessity but out of greed.
Rating: 10 Votes
41 months ago
I don't think it has much to do with piracy. Sure, the iOS store has a billion garbage apps but most of the quality apps that people use day to day are internet-based programs. Odds are I'm going to have my browser directed to Google Reader, rather than a separate app. Same for Facebook or whatever else.

The other sizable source of revenue for the iOS store is the games market. I'm not gaming on my Mac Mini when I'm at my desk -- if I'm at home, its either on my windows box or my 360.

There's a false equivalency if you want to compare Mac App Store sales versus iOS App Store sales.
Rating: 9 Votes
41 months ago
I hate the idea of the Mac App store, all the programs I buy online I keep the install files organised on a hard drive with the serials in the event I need them and disks on a shelf. I don't want or need to be controlled by Apple.

It's also useless for a work environment when you have computers that can't be allowed to have access to the internet! i.e. our edit suites that we can't put Final Cut X onto because it has to be downloaded using a machine that doesn't have and will never have a Apple email account with credit card details attached to it. They also have to remain on 10.6.4 for compatibility reasons with other systems they are networked to. :mad:

Theres some software I need but can't get because they are on the damn App Store! Even freeware which is worse. :confused:
Rating: 8 Votes

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