The news that there were over one million software downloads from the Mac App Store in the first 24 hours seems but a blip on the horizon. It’s not a lot when compared to the iOS App Store, but you can surely see the handwriting on the wall. What’s more, as third-party developers line up to get their products displayed, some will quickly abandon their own efforts to sell their products in favor of Apple’s solution.
Certainly having Apple’s marketing muscle behind all those third-party developers, even those run by a single person, can take a relatively unknown product and turn it into a best seller almost overnight. Some might feel that Apple’s 30% cut is somewhat high, but consider how it simplifies bookkeeping chores for a small business. Just sell the product, and sit back and wait for Apple’s monthly check.
Of course, nothing stops developers from selling their own stuff through their sites or elsewhere. As a matter of fact, Apple’s stringent (but evolving) restrictions will likely cause rejection letters from loads of apps that would seem otherwise to be compelling entrants.
Over time, of course, I expect Apple will find ways to deal with many of these exceptions. I like to think that audio capture utilities, such as Ambrosia Software’s WireTap Studio, which installs a kernel extension as part of the setup process, would be an ideal candidate for App Store customers, if only system changes and/or enhancements would be allowed.