In the next 90 days, Apple is planning to offer the Mac App Store, the desktop version of the company’s mobile marketplace on the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad. The idea, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, is to bring the same level of productivity and usability to the Mac that consumers are currently enjoying on the company’s mobile products. It’s an interesting idea.
But debate is currently raging over whether or not the Mac App Store will be a success. Those who are against the idea say that consumers will want full functionality-something, they say, can’t be done with Apple’s marketplace. Plus, they say, it makes more sense on an iPad or an iPhone, not on a desktop.
However, that argument is somewhat short-sighted. Apple’s idea is a good one. As long as it’s implemented in the same way as its mobile App Store, there is no reason why it won’t be as big of a hit on a MacBook Pro as it is on the iPhone 4.
1. Strength in numbers
It’s hard to bet against an app store that allows developers to quickly and efficiently create as many programs as they want with little to no risk. That has been proven time and again in Apple’s current App Store, which has more than 300,000 applications available to people looking for just about anything. If Apple enjoys similar success with the Mac-based version of its store, the consumer experience of using Mac OS X will only improve, which would then translate to more success for Apple and developers.
2. It’s what Apple has needed
With the help of a Mac App Store, Apple will be able to quickly catch up to the software lead Microsoft is enjoying with its Windows platform. Granted, Apple’s apps will likely be underpowered compared with those running natively on the desktop, but who cares? In an increasing number of cases, powerful desktop applications are becoming less necessary.
3. The enterprise will come around
The corporate world has some trouble with Mac OS X. The operating system lacks compatibility with mission-critical applications, which makes it a less viable choice for many companies. However, the Mac App Store could change all that. If business developers see promise in it, they might create worthwhile programs for Mac users-and, in the process, more companies might warm up to Apple’s operating system.
4. Consumers already respond well
Apple’s App Store caters to consumers. Plus, many of those people that buy apps from their iPhone are running Windows at home. If they see value in accessing another app store from the desktop, they might just opt for Macs in the future because of their desire to keep using those simple programs. That could be good for Apple.
Changing the Way People Buy Desktop Software
5. Developers will love it
It’s hard to see why developers wouldn‘t jump at the chance to build programs for the Mac App Store. As noted, the mobile version of the store has been wildly successful, and there is no reason to believe the Mac option won’t be just as successful. Realizing that, developers will likely start building programs for the store in droves. When that happens, Apple and its customers will only benefit.
6. Uniqueness makes Apple so successful
There is something to be said about how unique Apple is. The company has generated billions of dollars in revenue because of its ability to look beyond what companies are currently doing and deliver something better. It has done the same with the Mac App Store. And considering how successful it has been at generating profits from that uniqueness in the past, it’s hard to see why that won’t continue in the future.
7. It’s a complement to other things
Some say that the Mac App Store will cause Apple and its desktop developers to lose sight of the functionality consumers want. After all, they say, major programs, such as iTunes, wouldn’t be all that viable coming from the App Store. But, in reality, Apple’s marketplace will complement all the other services the operating system provides. It’s simply a way to get more value out of the OS. No more, no less.
8. Cheap reigns supreme
Perhaps the best part about Apple’s Mac App Store is the ability to get programs for little or no fee. According to Apple, it will follow a similar strategy with the Mac App Store as it does with its mobile marketplace. In other words, folks will be able to get their hands on free programs, as well as those that retail for around $1, $2, or $3. With such a low price point, it probably won’t be hard for Apple to coax consumers to use its marketplace.
9. The experience is much different
The experience of using an application on Mac OS X-as opposed to using programs that are designed for the operating system-will be much different. But that’s a good thing for Apple, developers, and consumers. It provides folks with an experience that offers full-screen capabilities, the ability to pick up where they left off, and much more. It’s an experience that hasn’t been fully tried on the desktop, and those are factors that most consumers will like.
10. The idea is a new kind of old
Some have noted that Apple has tried a Mac App Store–like experience before with Mac OS X’s Dashboard. But the Dashboard lacked the full strategy that the App Store boasts. Plus, the Dashboard wasn’t used as an additional platform within the operating system. That’s an important distinction because it’s one that will likely mean the difference between success for the App Store and the eventual dismissal of the Dashboard.