Apple Prepping Mac App Store for Dec. 13: Rumors

Apple is preparing to launch its Mac App Store on Dec. 13, according to the latest rumors circulating around the blogosphere.

Apple could launch its Mac App Store Dec. 13, according to the latest rumors circulating around the blogosphere. The PC version of the company's iOS App Store will offer third-party developers the chance to offer low-cost programs for both consumers and business users.

Quoting an unnamed "inside source," the blog Appletell proclaimed in a Dec. 5 posting: "Apple is targeting a Monday, December 13 launch of the Mac App Store." Apple CEO Steve Jobs had apparently pushed for an earlier release date, but Monday would also position the Mac App Store to become an added incentive during the holiday shopping rush.

Other rumors suggest that Apple will use that mid-December timeframe to launch its iOS 4.3 update, which reportedly includes subscription-billing APIs, along with an iPad-only newspaper, The Daily, being developed by News Corp.

News Corp magnate Rupert Murdoch seemed to confirm details of that publication in a Nov. 9 interview with The Australian Financial Review. "I'm starting a paper in six weeks," he reportedly said. "It will only be seen on tablets. It will only employ journalists-and maybe eight to 10 technicians."

A few weeks later, John Gruber at Daring Fireball suggested that Apple and News Corp would schedule The Daily's formal unveiling for early December. "The date I've heard is Dec. 9, but that's a Thursday, which would be somewhat unusual for an Apple press event," he wrote in a Nov. 22 posting. "My guess is that they're telling people Dec. 9 but it might slip back to Tuesday or Wednesday the week after."

If the information from Appletell proves correct, then in theory Apple could host an event Dec. 13 that launches Mac App Store, along with iOS 4.3 and The Daily. The iOS 4.3 update will supposedly improve AirPlay, which allows mobile-device users to stream multimedia content such as television shows and music to Apple TV and supported speakers.

Despite pressure from Google Android, a number of analysts believe that Apple will manage to retain market share in the mobile market. "Regardless of the overall strength during Black Friday and the holiday season at large, we believe Apple has the products that consumer demand," Ticonderoga Securities analyst Brian Write wrote in a Nov. 29 research note, citing strength in the company's iPad, iPhone 4 and MacBook Air lines.

The latest Apple rumors also center on the company's refreshed MacBook Pro notebook, with blogs speculating that the next versions will include solid-state drives and Intel's Light Peak, an optical cable technology capable of transferring data at speeds up to 10GB per second. The last MacBook Pro refresh was in April.