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Apple looking to purge boxed software from Apple Stores?

updated 04:10 pm EST, Mon February 7, 2011

May be migrating shoppers to Mac App Store

Apple is working towards eliminating boxed software from its retail stores, MacRumors claims to have learned. Currently the company sells a number of first- and third-party boxed apps, ranging from iWork and FileMaker Pro through to Microsoft Office and Adobe's Creative Suite. The goal though may be to push shoppers to use the Mac App Store, launched in January, or else order directly from publishers and developers.

Removing boxed software would represent a threefold victory for Apple. It would first of all drive customers to use the Mac App Store, where the company controls the platform and takes a 30 percent cut of revenue. Freeing up shelves would make room for more accessories and peripherals, and in its advertising, Apple could potentially claim to be more environmentally friendly.

One obstacle might be developers like Adobe and Microsoft, which could suffer if pushed from Apple retail as their flagship programs may not be good fits for the Mac App Store. The industry as a whole could in fact be pressured into using the Mac App Store to achieve major exposure, even though boxed Mac titles are still sold by a number of third-party retail vendors. Smaller developers are already dependent on downloads for distribution.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Foe Hammer

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I Understand The Goal, But ...

    It's still kind of nice to have some boxed (or at least poly-bagged/enveloped) software available in-store for those impulse, spur of the moment and/or I-just-bought-a-new-Mac-and-want-to-feed-it-now purchases.

    And there's probably still a few folks around suffering from "there's no software for Macs" FUD yet ... FUD which I'm sure Microsoft will whip up again, especially in those extremely few spots where there's both an Apple Store and a Microsoft store near each other. MS: "You don't have to take our word for it, just peek in the door of the Apple place when you walk by - do you see any software in there?"

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    it's software

    why *can't* it just be downloaded? Like floppy disks, it's about time for the antiquated model of selling software to GO AWAY. It used to be that you needed a physical disc for various reasons. Most (or nobody) did not have broadband so it would take FOREVER to d/l the files. Then there were/are piracy concerns.

    And if you're going to replicate DVD-ROMs, you can't just put them in a sleeve and sell them. Oh, no. You gotta print a manual and then the marketing people want them in a nice, fancy box... suddenly you've got something that's 5% actual product and 95% marketing cr.ap.

  1. Paul Huang

    Joined: Dec 1969


    GB of DVD? No problem

    Start selling them on flash devices already. SD cards, USB Flash, or point-of-sales burning.

    Movies are slowly going to the FTP/local distribution method instead of hand-carrying 35mm/70mm bulky reels, why can't software distribution take on the same model?

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969



    you can buy the software from other places like the vendor (obviously not Apple :P ), or "if they bother to stock it" places like Best Buy, NewEgg, Amazon,..

    Physical media is still required in rural areas where the free market doesn't want to go. Flash media sounds very nice, but it ain't as cheap as CD or DVD so there would be a premium attached.

    I think, that if Apple is really going this route in all of their stores, they better get to the forefront of broadband everywhere initiatives. I'd hate to have to disconnect and then drag my Mac Pro to the car so I could drive to the Apple Store 3 hours away, just to get an application installed. What a giant leap backward that would be, eh?
    As it is with boxed software, I'd only have to drag my wallet, and then my purchase on that 6+ hour trip.

    Things to keep in mind during the discussion of broadband software delivery discussions...

  1. fashizzle

    Joined: Dec 1969



    y'know, this whole thing is quickly becoming a joke. as a former Apple Specialist (top tier dealer), we stocked and sold an enormous amount of 3rd party hardware and software that you could not buy elsewhere (other than online of course). disintermediation strangled the channel, and now you go into an Apple Store and the 3rd party offerings are dismal, and now software too?! ugg.

  1. OldMacGeek

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Not likin' it

    I don't know about this one. There's just something about an actual box and real printed documentation to make you feel you really 'own' it. Like others said, the perceived 'lack' of software - all the pretty boxes - may not do good things for us in the long run.

  1. nmilsner

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Don't remove the boxed software!

    I feel this would be a large mistake. If you are buying a Mac for the fist time, you need to see what software is available to accomplish what you want to do. Even when I am in an Apple store I check out the software section. If you are going to use the Apple Internet Store you are there for a particular application. In the store you will may see an application that you didn't know existed. The software section is not that large so there is plenty of display area for computers.

  1. ilovestevejobs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Good move Apple,

    you dumb arse

  1. Stuke

    Joined: Dec 1969



    What less would you expect? Certainly if anyone can pull-off no boxed software any longer it will be The Apple Store. And, after it occurs, you see a small marketing campaign for The App Store, and then life will go on. Apple shares will increase, their profit will remain strong, and we'll search for another story about Apple.

  1. SwissMac

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Solid apps build commitment to the Apple brand in

    Tangible beats virtual every time for most people. Getting rid of the box affects people's pride of ownership, both of the software and of the computer. In a way your computer is like your 'pet' and buying software for it is a physical commitment to it like feeding it - especially since you actually have to put something (the CD/DVD) into its "mouth" (the CD/DVD reader).

    Don't underestimate people's psychology with these things, it can be quite illogical.

    Me? I'll buy a $20 app at the App Store, but for more expensive stuff I want something in exchange for my money and rearranging a few electrons on my hard disk doesn't do it for me. I want a box!

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