Apple to 'boot boxed software from retail boutiques'
'Boxes? We don't need no steenkin boxes!'
"Apple is planning on making the move to all digital sooner than expected at their retail stores," MacRumors reports, citing unnamed sources.
With physical shelf space being at a premium, such a move would make good business sense from Apple's point of view. Those shelves could then be filled with higher-margin shiny-shiny.
And one long-time Mac OS X developer with whom The Reg has spoken is glad to see the arrival of the Mac App Store and the demise of boxed software. "We've shut down retail here in the States," says Ken Case, CEO of The Omni Group.
"That's enough of printing boxes, and shipping them places, and building up inventory, and having to destroy boxes when we've released a new version," he says. "All of those headaches are just gone."
Case also told us that the 30 per cent cut that Apple takes for Mac App Store sales is a bargain. When selling software in retail, he says, "you're lucky if you clear 30 per cent by the time everything is done. So having a channel where you get to keep 70 per cent? That's great."
But the Mac App Store – at least as it is currently constituted – is aimed at consumers, and not businesses or content-creation professionals. Not only are Microsoft Office and Adobe's Creative Suite titles absent from its virtual shelves, but so are such high-end Apple products as Final Cut Studio and Xsan.
Digital distribution of Mac OS X apps may be the unstoppable wave of the future, but don't expect Apple to freeze out all non–Mac App Store sales. If Apple were to try to do so, the resulting hue and cry would almost certainly bring on, at minimum, an antitrust investigation by the US Federal Trade Commission. ®
it will be regional locked won't it?
the problem with digital stores is that they are regional locked, so this will mean that many of the people living in _other_ countries will no longer be able to buy applications the same way they can't buy music or movies right now (from digital stores).
currently I am in Tanzania. I saw a local Apple dealer and decided to visit the place, to my surprise they were selling the iPad there. When I asked them about buying applications, they told that it is not a problem. I just have to open a _USofA_ account, then buy an _overpriced_ iTune cards from them (note, since I am buying a physical card, the local Tax of 18% apply). So yes, locals can buy applications from iTunes..... as long as they register themselves as Americans!
now the same thing is going to apply to the Macs? give me a break.
"...There must surely be a ... portion of (customers) for whom...."
Ah, but if you no longer fit the profile of a Mac user then the cult don't want you no more.
Outcast! Heretic! Infidel!
Download and app?
Download an app? Oh great. A five minute installation job turns in to an hours long download job, IF you happen to have broadband. Want to install it again? Oh, just wait a few hours for hundreds of megabytes of pointless bloat wend their slow and weary way once more down an overburdened ADSL line. Buy a Mac, it just works. Eventually. If you've got the patience to wait for the damn download. Don't bother if you're on a dial up link.
There must surely be a commercially significant portion of the customer base for whom app downloading just isn't going to work. Very few customers will have a broadband connection fast enough to make installing a large application over the wire as quick as installing from disk.
If cutting costs / increasing profits means losing the pointless posh boxes, why not maximise that return by retaining those bandwidth poor customers? In-store distribution could be made massively cheaper if the store just burnt a DVD on demand from their local server. Most of the licensing problems have already been solved. DVD-Rs are very cheap. It wouldn't need extra staff if planned correctly.
You can buy mac software?
And it comes in boxes you say? This is news to me, next you'll be telling me they sell generic x86 hardware in pretty white cases with a huuuuge mark-up at these supposed "apple stores"
Boxes are just too damn dirty for the sterile environment of an apple store!