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For Mac Developers, Armageddon Comes Tomorrow 429

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the race-to-the-bottom dept.
kdawson writes "David Gewirtz's blog post over at ZDNet warns of an imminent price collapse for traditional Mac applications, starting tomorrow when the Mac App Store opens. The larger questions: what will Mac price plunges of 90%-95% mean for the PC software market? For the Mac's market share? Quoting: 'The Mac software market is about as old-school as you get. Developers have been creating, shipping, and selling products through traditional channels and at traditional price points for decades. ... Mac software has historically been priced on a parity with other desktop software. That means small products are about $20. Utilities run in the $50-60 range. Games in the $50 range. Productivity packages and creative tools in the hundreds, and specialty software — well, the sky's the limit. Tomorrow, the sky will fall. Tomorrow, the iOS developers move in and the traditional Mac developers better stick their heads between their legs and kiss those price points goodbye.'"
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For Mac Developers, Armageddon Comes Tomorrow

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  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:30AM (#34764632) Journal
    One of the key pieces to this argument is fallacious:

    The news for the traditional developers is not good:

    • Chopper 2 — iOS price: $4.99. Mac price: $4.99.
    • Air Hockey — iOS price: $0.99. Mac price: $0.99.
    • ReMovem — iOS price: $2.99. Mac price: $2.99.
    • Compression — iOS price: $2.99. Mac price: $3.99.

    These are all games and one did have a price difference between iOS and Mac, but it was a buck.

    Compare that with Mac games listed on Amazon today. $38.99 $19.99 $27.54 $29.35 $54.99 $24.38. These are traditional PC prices.

    As of tomorrow, games priced at $20-60 will be competing against games priced at 99 cents to $4.99. The most expensive iOS games are around ten bucks. In effect, game pricing will drop by 90-95% -- on average -- overnight.

    Question: Why didn't you list out those titles that you found at $20-$55 like you did with the iPhone titles? Oh, I know, it's because they're so far from similar it would be embarrassing to reveal that the heart of your argument is on shaky ground at best.

    I don't own a Mac. I don't own an iPhone. But I've seen people play games on both. From your suggestion of Amazon's bestselling Mac game titles [amazon.com] let's look at the top page without duplicates: The Sims 3, Bejeweled 3, World of Warcraft, Civilization V, Nancy Drew, and Spore. With the exception of Bejeweled (and the other Pop Cap titles), I think you are comparing apples to oranges when you say that World of Warcraft [youtube.com] is now going to have to compete with Air Hockey [youtube.com] and that Blizzard should tuck its tail between its legs and run because the $40 price point versus $1 price point means they're going to die. And in the only applicable case (Pop Cap Games), they will be the ones moving their apps to the Mac Store. So they should be afraid of themselves?

    Here's how I see it: gaming on Mac has always been sort of unsupported. It's gotten a lot better recently but not all publishers see a value to it. Now, with this Mac Store, you're going to see the same publishers sell at their price point but gaming could explode on the Mac given this opportunity to transcend iOS and target OSX as well. I don't think that the applications and games that exist in the iPhone sphere are going to do much to the revenues of desktop counterparts because they're simply beefier applications. Furthermore, if they do modify those price points to compete, I'm of the opinion that the Steam Effect will take place and instead of selling 10k copies at $20 they're going to sell 100k copies at $4. The bottom line is that this software store will do little to traditional Mac sales and instead expand the subscriptions of the mobile games a bit.

    Your friends are also going to have to figure out how the input on a mac with a single mouse is going to handle those times when they were sensing two or more touch points on the device screen. So even if you're right, Armageddon is not tomorrow.

    Apple wins. Many of their very loyal developers will lose.

    The Rapture is upon us, repent now before it is too late. Steve Jobs is a ruthless and uncaring god! Seriously man, you're blowing this up into something it's not.

    • by CastrTroy (595695)
      At the end of the day there is still a competition. I've bought way more $5-$15 WiiShop games than I have bought $60 titles that required I buy a physical disk. You are right, it's kind of odd to compare the two, as they are about as different as different gets. However, I have quite a few games for my Wii that only cost $10 that are about 100 times better than a lot of the stuff they used to for $30 or $20 in the bargain bin at Walmart. What it really means is that developers won't be able to charge a p
      • At the end of the day there is still a competition. I've bought way more $5-$15 WiiShop games than I have bought $60 titles that required I buy a physical disk. You are right, it's kind of odd to compare the two, as they are about as different as different gets. However, I have quite a few games for my Wii that only cost $10 that are about 100 times better than a lot of the stuff they used to for $30 or $20 in the bargain bin at Walmart. What it really means is that developers won't be able to charge a prem

      • by smash (1351) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:56AM (#34765528) Homepage Journal

        People buying sub $5 games on the iOS app store are NOT going to suddenly buy $5 games on the app store instead of proper computer-oriented titles at a higher price. Games/apps are cheap on the app store for 3 reasons: 1 - they're simple (and thus less complex to develop); 2 - the market is HUGE, there are over 100 million iOS devices out there; and 3 - the distribution and promotion is all handled through the app store.

        When full computer-based titles come to the app store, prices will drop due to the ease of distribution, but the complexity/development costs will not.

        You'll see a vast range of little utility apps be publicly available for cheap (probably at the expense of FREEWARE/SHAREWARE, but full price titles will not drop more than say 20%, is my bet.

        The market for full OS X software simply isn't big enough to make a killing selling full featured titles are $5 a pop.

    • Without going into too much depth, your counter-argument is also flawed. World of Warcraft doesn't just cost $40, it also costs a subscription per month and works off of a completely different pricing model. I'm not saying that that invalidates your argument... just that you should mention ALL of the facts.
    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      You hit the nail on the head, and it's not just gaming that the article is wrong about - I've been using Macs for a good few years, and I can categorically say that the assertion that "small products are about $20. Utilities run in the $50-60 range" is bullshit.

      Looking along my dock for non-bundled applications, I see Cyberduck (FTP), Skype, Firefox, NeoOffice (Mac-native port of OpenOffice), Adobe CS4, VirtualBox, SketchUp, Aperture, Steam, and Mathematica. Anything in that list that could remotely come un

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      It's rather like the growth of Steam on the PC. It didn't kill big-price retail titles, but it did make it a lot easier for people to sell little titles like Popcap's games.

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Can someone with knowledge of the system confirm what these OSX App Store products will be capable of? Are we talking a similar SDK to the iOS one or could you write a full blown desktop app without any restrictions?

      • by 0racle (667029) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:42AM (#34765380)
        The Mac App store seems to have less restrictions then the iOS store as the Mac is a different platform then the iOS. The App Store is meant to be a place to easily get a hold of many Mac Apps. The Mac is a full desktop, this isn't supposed to be some nefarious scheme to change that. Demos aren't allowed, Apple recommends devs continue to use their own site to distribute them. Apps that shit all over the file system aren't allowed. It must use XCode tools and installer (WoW won't be in the store) and what not. I believe in app purchases aren't allowed (i.e. Steam is probably not allowed). It doesn't seem as if Apple is interested in making this the only place to get Mac Apps, especially with the recommendation that devs still use their own sites to distribute trials, just an easy place to get many Mac tools and apps.

        MacWorld article on the App Store [macworld.com]
    • >>>Why didn't you list out those titles that you found at $20-$55 like you did with the iPhone titles?

      Because that wasn't his point. If you read the NEXT paragraph (which I suspect you did not), he says the titles from "traditional" developers will continue to be 30-60 dollars but they will need to compete against those 1-5 dollar games, programs, et cetera from iOS competitors. Therefore the expensive titles will be largely skipped-over by customers looking for a bargain.

      Basically it's the "inv

      • The very fact that these people bought Macs indicates that they are not necessarily looking for the cheapest stuff. They are prepared to pay more for quality products. If they want a game with the depth of WoW, they aren't going to make do with a flash/iOS type game instead just because it's cheaper.

        There are markets for games at a wide variety of price points.

    • If this were Microsoft, or Google, or just about any other company in the world, nobody would be making claims that $SERVICE_LAUNCH is going to change the economics of the entire software industry. It's because it's Apple, and these days people seem to work from the paradigm that Apple is the epicentre of technology - whether we're talking about devices, software, or services.

      • Actually if it was Microsoft, and they had had an equivalent success to the iOS App Store behind them, then for sure there would be such questions/claims.

    • Is there something about writing about videogames that makes logic fall out of people's heads? Seems like every month I see an article on the theme of "Oh god, cheap/crappy/casual/wii/motion controlled/sex video games are going to be THE ONLY VIDEO GAMES YOU'LL BE ABLE TO BUY AND IT WILL DESTROY GAMING!!!!" At least this one had an actual mechanism for how that would happen. Typically it's just along the lines of "Since the Wii came out, motion controlled games have increased 30000%. These trends WILL C

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:31AM (#34764638)

    Comparing some $2 iPhone/iPad game and a full-blown Mac game like The Sims 3 or World or Warcraft, as if there is parity just because they're both "games," is fucking retarded. These are "apps" not "applications."

    Some young hotshit programmer designing a great little mini-game isn't going to drive down the price of Call of Duty 4, for Christ's sake.

    Some start-up's simple photo editor isn't going to drive down the price of Photoshop (anymore than GIMP or any of a hundred other free photo editors did on the PC).

    Serious development still costs money. And the more complex your application, the more you generally have to charge for it. What sells on the iPhone/iPad for a few bucks will probably sell for a few bucks on the Mac too. But no one is going to look at these little apps as replacements for more serious software (the kind that costs $20+). Apple isn't going to look at some iVideoEdit app and say "Well, we'd better lower the price of Final Cut Pro down to $5."

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      On the one hand, the cheap mini-apps could drive down demand for "the real thing". On the other hand, the crowd interested in the mini-apps probably would never buy "the real thing" anyways.

      Photoshop is an apt example. That bugger is expensive. Most people will never even see it unless they pirated it.

      Gaming on PCs is a little dire and it's made worse on the Mac by the fact that you can't upgrade your GPU. Mac gaming has that "platform fragmentation" that everyone likes to rag on Android for.

      A good number o

      • by robthebloke (1308483) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:04AM (#34764984)
        Photoshop is targeted quite squarely at the professional, and therefore it really isn't an 'apt' example as you say. I imagine there are many of people out there who use a pirated version at home. I also imagine adobe doesn't lose too much sleep over them. If photoshop was uncrackable, how many of those users would buy a legit license? None of them! They'd all resort to buying adobe elements, using the software bundled with their digital cameras, or resort to free alternatives such as paint.NET or gimp.

        Photoshop with it's £550 price tag is a professional product, aimed at the professional user - a user whom it's assumed will be audited at the end of the year, and therefore can't avoid paying for the product. The app-store will do nothing to change that, and certainly will not harm photoshop sales in the slightest....
        • by oldspewey (1303305) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:11AM (#34765070)

          the professional user - a user whom it's assumed will be audited at the end of the year, and therefore can't avoid paying for the product

          I've known a few freelancers who didn't buy the full product for fear of an audit - they bought the full product because they didn't want to feel like a smalltime crook every time they turned on their workstation to do some design work for a client. It's a state of mind thing: if my skills and professionalism are solid enough to land me a 5-figure design gig, I'm going to do that work using professional equipment, none of which is stolen.

          • by Bassman59 (519820)

            the professional user - a user whom it's assumed will be audited at the end of the year, and therefore can't avoid paying for the product

            I've known a few freelancers who didn't buy the full product for fear of an audit - they bought the full product because they didn't want to feel like a smalltime crook every time they turned on their workstation to do some design work for a client. It's a state of mind thing: if my skills and professionalism are solid enough to land me a 5-figure design gig, I'm going to do that work using professional equipment, none of which is stolen.

            EXACTLY. The professional who uses Photoshop as part of his/her workflow is creating intellectual property that is ultimately no different from Photoshop itself. "well, I used a cracked version of Photoshop to create the design that I want to sell" would just make that person a hypocrite.

            Not that hypocrites don't exist -- just look at all of the record producers who on one hand complain about pirating and illegal downloads, but on the other hand they use cracked versions of DAW software and plug-ins to make

            • by tnk1 (899206) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @02:12PM (#34767204)
              I also think that pros know on an almost instinctual level that if they don't buy the software that they rely on, it won't be there for them in the future, at least in terms of support and critical improvements. And even if the app that I bought is bug-free and needs no training or support to operate, perhaps I want to know that they are there to add features later on, or at the very least, they will continue to target my profession with tools that make my life easier.

              I think that's a component of the feeling of "rightness" that you get when you see the box on your shelf or have the serial number for the legit copy stored away somewhere.
      • by Bert64 (520050)

        The problem with photoshop is that its seen as "the thing to have", and is therefore used (usually pirated) by many people who simply have no need for its features and could do what they need with many of the alternatives, most of which are free or very cheap.

        I know someone who use photoshop for resizing and cropping pictures, yes literally just resizing pictures, nothing fancy whatsoever... He won't even consider using any of the many free programs that would do the job, and his reason was "they're not pro

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Indeed. Go look at Steam where PC games at price points between $3 and $70 happily co-exist. Even the cheapest "serious" titles are $15-$20 and I expect the same to happen here. Yes, there are small indie games sold at cheap price points and you get what you pay for.

      The only situation where I could see a case for change is with small utilities - PC/Mac utility software is usually sold at between $10-$50 with $20 being often quoted. This may erode for smaller utilities but again, I expect the price to reflec

      • by Creepy (93888)

        There is an enormous difference between costs of digital distribution and costs of traditional distribution. With traditional distribution, you have printing costs (e.g. manual), media costs, box art costs, print marketing, physical shipping costs, reclaims costs (damaged media), and pay a cut of profits to the developer, publisher, and point-of-sale. Worst of all is dealing with availability issues where a publisher's goal is to have zero items in a warehouse

        In the end, the publisher typically gets the lio

    • by jedidiah (1196)

      ...and BTW. There are cheap cut-rate EA games for the iThing available in the Apple Store.

      So, the same thing could crop up for the Mac.

      Although it would mainly be replacing the robust secondary games market that Windows has but Macs don't.

    • by wjousts (1529427) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:40AM (#34764738)

      But wait, I can play dumb flash games over the web for free. Clearly Call Of Duty 4 should now be free too!

      The real question is how do people manage to charge $0.99 for an iPhone game when they are much closer to the free flash games available on the web or even the free games available on the iPhone.

      • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:45AM (#34764780) Homepage Journal

        But wait, I can play dumb flash games over the web for free.

        Not on your MacBook on the bus/train/carpool unless you pay $60/mo for mobile broadband. Locally installed applications are more often designed to work offline. Does Adobe Flash Player even support anything like HTML5's CACHE MANIFEST [whatwg.org]?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by NevarMore (248971)

        But wait, I can play dumb flash games over the web for free. Clearly Call Of Duty 4 should now be free too!

        The real question is how do people manage to charge $0.99 for an iPhone game when they are much closer to the free flash games available on the web or even the free games available on the iPhone.

        Because theres no Flash on the iPhone?

      • by John Betonschaar (178617) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:38AM (#34765340)

        The real question is how do people manage to charge $0.99 for an iPhone game when they are much closer to the free flash games available on the web or even the free games available on the iPhone.

        1. Because not every iOS game is also available as a Flash game, not even remotely so
        2. Because Flash games are usually made for kb + mouse control, which you don't have on an iPhone
        3. Because the iPhone doesn't support Flash anyway
        4. Because even if the iPhone did support Flash, the gaming experience and battery life playing Flash games on it would be terrible. Android has Flash but I don't think many people use it for gaming.
        5. Because $0.99 is actually dirt cheap???

        You could say the same about buying a hotdog, a carton of milk, or going to a movie theatre. Why pay for that if you can also find someones leftovers in the trash can, you can also drink water from the tap, or you can also watch regular TV at home?

        As a spare-time iOS developer I always get a little sad reading stuff like this. We've come to the point where you can pick up nice games for the ridiculously low price of $0.99, games that took hundreds of hours of development, games that are often a lot better in every way and contain a lot more content than games you used to pay $20 or more (remember NeoGeo? $250 for a some games!) for 10 years ago, and yet, people all still complaining. Now it should all be free... People really have become cheap-ass bastards... :-S

    • Photoshop Elements (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:41AM (#34764748) Homepage Journal

      Some start-up's simple photo editor isn't going to drive down the price of Photoshop (anymore than GIMP or any of a hundred other free photo editors did on the PC).

      Without NeoPaint, Paint Shop Pro, GIMP, and other second-string image editors, Adobe likely wouldn't have made Photoshop Elements. Likewise, startups trying to compete with Final Cut Pro (to take your example) may encourage Apple to add features to iMovie.

      • by iroll (717924)

        Wrong, wrong, wrong. Without massive piracy of Adobe's extremely expensive professional software, Adobe likely wouldn't have made Photoshop Elements. They were competing with free copies of their own stuff, not with 'second string image editors.'

    • Free Call of Duty 4 when you buy Angry Birds!

  • Optional (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gilesjuk (604902) <giles.jones@NOspam.zen.co.uk> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:32AM (#34764644)

    You don't have to use the App Store to sell software.

    I don't imagine for one minute that large professional applications will ever be sold this way for the time being.

    • You don't have to use the App Store to sell software.

      But if you don't, your would-have-been customers will likely buy your competitor's close substitute from the App Store instead of your software from your web site.

    • Steam... anyone?
    • by Haedrian (1676506)

      Yet.

  • Awful (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JBMcB (73720) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:41AM (#34764742)

    What a terrible article. Does he interview any actual developers? Does he talk to software resellers? Does he talk to iPhone developers considering the move to the app store? Does he have any statistics at all? No, he did his research by looking at Amazon and MacConnection. He came up with a whole bunch of scary sounding analogies, though - I guess that should drive traffic to his site.

    I think that, in the short term, the App store is going to compete with the traditional shareware market, which has always been pretty active in the Macintosh community. The solution for those developers is simple: make their products available on the app store. It will probably help them in the long run.

  • by zerofoo (262795) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:42AM (#34764756)

    I've noticed something wonderful about the whole "app" phenomenon, something I haven't seen in a decade of working in IT.

    Lightweight apps. Apps that get right to the point, and don't require lots of time to install and configure. After spending an hour installing Adobe's Master Collection and another half hour patching it, I say the desktop app revolution can't come soon enough.

    Yes, I realize that "fat apps" will not be replaced anytime soon by "thin apps", but it could force people to really decide if the fat app is worth the headache and expense.

    Finally, I understand the financial needs of developers - but the app store should allow devs to get more eyeballs on their product, and make distribution of their product easier. Sure the margins may be smaller, but the volume will probably make up for it.

    -ted

    • by gstoddart (321705)

      I've noticed something wonderful about the whole "app" phenomenon, something I haven't seen in a decade of working in IT.

      Lightweight apps.

      I couldn't agree with this more -- small, simple apps that do one thing. Do it exceedingly well, and do it quickly is a huge thing. I've got more apps installed on my iPad than I typically do on my Windows machines -- largely because they're small, and I've only been downloading the free ones so there's no real cost to test drive something to see if it might be fun/usef

      • by harl (84412)

        small, simple apps that do one thing. Do it exceedingly well, and do it quickly is a huge thing.

        This is exactly what UNIX has been doing for the last 40 or so years. It's nice to see some other OS finally pick up on it.

    • by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:03AM (#34764982) Journal

      Thing is, you have seen those apps - but they were called Shareware. Everyone was saying there was real trouble selling them. But now they're called Free and Premium Apps and suddenly they're hotcakes.

      I am starting to think it's the Mall sales experience of the App Stores (plural) making a difference.

      • by joh (27088)

        Thing is, you have seen those apps - but they were called Shareware. Everyone was saying there was real trouble selling them. But now they're called Free and Premium Apps and suddenly they're hotcakes.

        I am starting to think it's the Mall sales experience of the App Stores (plural) making a difference.

        The trouble with Shareware is and was the fact that as a developer you can't get the word out, you have to set up your own licensing and money handling infrastructure (or to trust your users...), users aren't that willing to hand money over to some unknown guy... in the end you just don't make much money.

        Having Apple handle the distribution, licensing and money handling and getting in a big store can help to make money while offering your software for cheap. The whole iPhone/iPad App Store has proven that s

    • by Bert64 (520050)

      This has been the case for quite some time already...

      Compare something like the official AIM or Yahoo clients vs Pidgin or Adium...
      The latter gets straight to the point, and provides useful functions like being able to connect to multiple networks from a single client... The former clients are usually plastered with ads, and tend to be much bigger than the third party clients.

      The only thing Apple brings to the table, is recognition for some of the smaller lightweight apps.

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:43AM (#34764768)

    The author must have worked very hard to avoid examining the history of steam and impulse on the PC, where a wide range of prices happily coexist.
    Either that or hes one of those "I've never used a PC" people.

    • by Spad (470073)

      Or even Steam on the Mac, come to that.

    • Steam works on Mac now, with a fair number of games available. But he probably didn't think to look there when writing this crappy article.

  • I wonder if this might not balance out somewhat -- before you had to make physical boxed copies, and put it into as many stores as possible. People had to go out looking for it (or order it) and all that.

    The App Store seems to provide you with a larger possible base, lower distribution costs as you don't need to make the physical boxes, and a ready distribution model.

    Not saying this will help all software, but the App Store seems to give you a better chance at Economies of Scale than before. Hell, I see s

  • Although I have no experience with Mac development, how can you possibly compare a desktop game to a game written for an iPhone? It's like comparing a game written in flash to World of Warcraft. I'm not saying the flash game isn't good, but it's not going to replace desktop gaming anytime soon. The article assumes that one game is interchangeable with another. Devs just need to keep putting out quality products at reasonable prices and they should be fine.
  • I can see the small utility app market having a market correction, since a lot of those are fairly overpriced on the Mac platform compared to their counterparts on other platforms, but aside from those and possibly games of the same class as a smartphone game I wouldn't expect much change. Steam's been out for years and has millions of satisfied users, yet all the titles on it have regular prices within $10 of, if not matching, retail. They tend to go on sale more often and with deeper discounts, but that

  • Most applications designed for smartphones(iOS, Android, WebOS, etc...) are fairly small applications that do not have a lot of complexity compared to applications designed for a computer. This means that except for the casual games you find from Popcap or Shockwave, there isn't a direct apples to apples comparison. The Sims 3 for a mobile device or even a console will tend to be a lower end or cut rate version of what is available for a normal computer.

    So, there will be price cuts for the casual game

  • Armageddon tired of these apocalyptic prophesies. Price is the intersection of supply and demand, nothing more, nothing less. If you think you can't sell your app unless it's at a $1 price point, then you're admitting that it offers only a trivial benefit to your users or that it's a piece of crap. Either improve it to where it's worth what you'd like to make, or drop out of the competition.
  • All the apps I've built for the Mac platform have been free:

    http://quadesl.com/macApps.html

    They are not amazing, but losing 95% of my revenue of zero dollars won't keep me up at night...

    Sheldon

  • Total FUD (Score:5, Interesting)

    by X_Bones (93097) <danorz13@@@yahoo...com> on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:56AM (#34764890) Homepage Journal
    For decades the Mac has had a viable shareware scene where you download apps and, if desired, pay a modest fee to upgrade to a full or non-crippled version. I don't see how anyone could possibly argue that a Mac App Store will be the end of the world unless they're a clueless analyst who thinks the only programs people run on Macs are Photoshop and Office.
    • Re:Total FUD (Score:4, Interesting)

      by greed (112493) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @12:03PM (#34765586)

      I could see it being the end of the world for Kagi....

      Ahhh, the numerous Kagi e-mail receipts for Mac shareware I've got archived. Dating back to System 7.5.3 on a Performa 6300CDAV. It's amazing I still use Macs after that one.

  • In other news... (Score:4, Informative)

    by itsdapead (734413) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @10:58AM (#34764916)

    Apple's iWork suite (Pages, KeyNote and Numbers) is rumored to be [macrumors.com] coming out at $20 per application, c.f. the current version at $80 for the bundle. That's a significant price drop but hardly a collapse (and could be self-compensating if it leads to more sales) - and Apple are probably in a position to price that as a loss leader to promote the store.

    Something like Plants vs. Zombies (excellent casual game) is $3 on the iPhone, $7 on the iPad vs. (currently) $20 for the mac, which is a bit more of a price drop (I think the Mac version has a few extras, but there's an awful lot in the iPad version). Note that there's already a precident for charging more for iPad versions, so there's no expectation that Mac versions will match the iOS price. PvZ for Mac has already been on offer on Steam for less, at times.

    Then there's things like CoPilot and TomTom at (UK) price points like £19.99, £39.99, £59.99 for iPhone - Probably not good candidates for a Mac version, but they give the lie to the idea that everything on the iOS app store costs $0.99. (Apologies for the currency mixing - but this is Apple so $1 and £1 aren't a lot different...)

  • i have to say, this will be the most interesting thing to watch and i'm dying to know the outcome. i don't think many people realize the gravity of this situation.

    usually, the idea of an app store on Mac/PC's is the worst idea ever. as with digital distribution, u don't see prices automatically decline over time. example, take bf:bc 2. it's now selling for like $10. u won't see that. it'll stay at 60, maybe now it would be $40-50 (8 mo. later), and they would do a special for a week (that most likely u'll m

    • by itsdapead (734413)

      and the trend of the app store that if it's over $4, no one wants it (or for big apps, over $10 and no one wants it)

      I think you are confusing "no one buys" with "sells less copies than Angry Birds at £0.99".

      On the UK iOS store, #2 on the "top grossing" list is TomTom, at £39. The "Top 200" grossing list includes titles at £5, £7, £9, £18, £37.

      There aren't that many "serious" apps on the iOS store because (a) who would want (say) a full-blown DTP suite on an iPhone and (b) the iPad, which is suitable for slightly more heavyweight apps, hasn't been around for a year yet. I'd expe

    • by Spad (470073)

      Steam is currently selling BF:BC2 for £19.99; when it was released back in May it was £39.99, so while it's going for £12.99 on Amazon & Play, it's still halved in price on Steam since its release (and it was available for under a tenner during the Christmas sales).

      I guess it's a trade-off; on the one hand, you get slightly higher prices on new-ish games unless you're willing to wait for special offers (though to be fair Steam usually do pre-order discounts on new titles), but to count

      • Steam is currently selling BF:BC2 for £19.99; when it was released back in May it was £39.99, so while it's going for £12.99 on Amazon & Play, it's still halved in price on Steam since its release (and it was available for under a tenner during the Christmas sales).

        Before someone claims this is an isolated case, every single one of Valve's games has done the same thing. The only exceptions that I can think of are the ones they originally offered in packs, where the pack [steampowered.com] has dropped in

  • People must be thrilled that Adobe will drop the price of Photoshop to $0.99 tomorrow!

    The prices will only spiral down if the developers do it. Notice that they have not made the same mistake on the iPad. There we haven't seen the same race to the bottom like on the iPhone/iPod apps.
  • No way adobe photoshop will be in this with out some big changes.

    No way adobe will yet buy photoshop 1 time and run it on 5 systems.

    No way adobe will give 30% of the price of photoshop + $99 year to apple just to be in the store.

    Also the app store may not like phototshop plug in system.

  • Say good buy to user maps , mods , and more on app store games.

    • by pablo_max (626328)

      User maps are often times free, and thus a very "Good buy" as you say. Perhaps you mean to say "Goodbye"?

  • As of tomorrow, games priced at $20-60 will be competing against games priced at 99 cents to $4.99. The most expensive iOS games are around ten bucks. In effect, game pricing will drop by 90-95% — on average — overnight.

    HOORAY! Now when do I have time to actually play any of these games?
  • Has the plethora of free software available already for the mac ruined the market for paid for utilities and professional apps? Has Steam, which is probably the closest thing to the app store you can get for PC games and where you can get plenty of indie games for a couple of dollars each, ruined the game market for big professional developers?

    No.

  • Wow there are a lot of explosive emotional comments on this - WAY more than typical Apple posts on Slashdot. Lets review the posting, shall we?

    "David Gewirtz's blog post over at ZDNet warns of ..."

    I think that's all we need. You can see where the problem is.

    It's an opinion article, not journalism. Simmer down folks. And quit clicking on links to blogs. You're embarrassing yourselves.

  • In my economics class I learned that the lack of consumer information keeps prices higher then they would in a perfectly competitive marketplace. These apps stores greatly improve consumer information allowing them to easily compare all available products and are nearly a perfectly competitive marketplace.

    Another thing I learn is that in a perfectly competitive marketplace profit approaches 0.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday January 05, 2011 @11:30AM (#34765246)

    The thing with both the Mac and the iPhone app store is, you are paid what you charge.

    That is to say, a lot of developers have chosen to charge very little. But some software developers built impressive applications that really were worth more, and charged for it.

    This was reflected in top GROSSING apps usually being on the expensive side.

    Also, another aspect of Mac store pricing is this - most "good" iPad apps are $10. So I'd expect serious mac apps to be at least $15-$20.

    Also the whole story is way to games focused, Games have a whole different ecosystem than just about any other kind of application.

  • The summary is overlooking Adobe completely. I see no reason to expect that they are going to drop their sotware prices by 90% tomorrow. Being as they are the most important software company for the Mac today, that is a huge player who won't be in the game. They go out of their way to prevent piracy, they certainly aren't about to start distributing their top titles as downloadable applications for $5 a pop.

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