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Mac App Store at three months: few free apps, lots of games

updated 06:15 am EDT, Fri March 18, 2011

Mac gaming gets a boost, but off to modest start

Market research group Distimo has compiled a report on the Mac App Store showing that it is off to a relatively slow start compared with the number of iOS apps available through the iTunes App Store at the same stage. The Distimo report shows that the Mac App Store had 2,225 apps available at the two-month mark, which amounts to around a quarter of the number of apps that had become available for the iPad over the same timeframe. App developers on the Mac App Store in the top 300 rankings also pulled in half the revenue, on average, of iPad app developers in the top 300.

One reason cited for the relative slow uptake of the Mac App Store apps is that there a significantly fewer free apps (12 percent) with the rest paid. Moreover, the average selling price of Mac apps in the store is also seven times higher than iOS apps for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. As with the iTunes App Store, there is a clear trend towards gaming apps being the most popular category. It is a notable development for the Mac platform, as traditionally, gaming on the Mac has been relatively limited.

"In the Mac App Store, gaming is still less popular than on the iPhone and iPad, with iPad having over 50 percent more games listed among the most popular applications than the Mac App Store," according to the Distimo report says. "However, the popularity of games in the Mac App Store combined with the fact that there are already 646 games in the store, signals the Mac App Store could boost Mac gaming."

The Distimo report also tracked the app data from the other major app stores including the Android Market, the Window's Phone 7 Marketplace, the Blackberry App World, Nokia's Ovi and Palm's App catalog for the month of February. [via CNET]

by MacNN Staff



  1. jpellino

    Joined: Dec 1969



    You've proven that apples are different from oranges.

  1. global.philosopher

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't think anyone is expecting the Mac App Store to take off as quickly as the iOS apps store in terms of app count. Many iOS apps can be written in days or weeks whereas Mac apps would be more like months/years. The reason - Mac software is serious applications such as Photoshop and Half Life 2, etc. The two markets are completely different. One store caters for the computing market (Mac) and one caters for mobile utilities and casual (time waster) games, etc. The number of Apps reflects the different markets. I think 2,250 apps in two months is a sign of success.

  1. smitch

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Non-game apps

    Well, I have a great non-game app that I would love to submit to the store, but it is a FileMaker Pro solution. However Apple doesn't accept those as far as I know, and that's funny to me since FileMaker is a subsidiary of Apple in the first place.

    Mmaybe someone from Apple will read this and let us FileMaker developers in. Many like myself have been developing in FileMaker for a long time. I purchased it in 1984-5 and have version 1 disks. Oh well... every good deed seems to go unpunished or at least neglected.

  1. sidewaysdesign

    Joined: Dec 1969


    What a "report"...

    So, I guess the 27-year habit of buying Mac software NOT directly from Apple didn't vanish overnight. Also, I can't imagine that a desktop version of "iFart" would sell terribly well.

    As for me, I'm just annoyed there's no free version of Autodesk Maya... how could they expect to make any money without doing that?

  1. cmoney

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Another reason is simply that the Mac App Store isn't the only way to get applications. And the corollary is that many developers are choosing not to use the Mac App Store because of some of the restrictions.

    I would like to see some of the iPad apps make it over to the Mac though. There've been some really innovative iPad apps that don't have equivalents on the web.

  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Simple reasons

    1. you can distribute outside the App Store
    2. you don't have to put up with the restrictions (and therefore possible feature crippling of the app) in order to get approved
    3. you don't have to take a 30% cut in your sales

  1. Flying Meat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Unhappy with first experience

    Many had difficulty getting into the store in the first place. I had no such difficulty, but the one app I downloaded from the app store was crippled, and I have not been able to restore it to its previously terrific state.

    I'm not interested in paying for something else that might be crippled as a result of app store policy and will look elsewhere for my Mac software purchases.

  1. demani

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Market size?

    How about the size of the target market? App Store is only for those running 10.6.6, but App Store is for all iOS devices (approaching 100Million?). So there are probably like 3-5x as many potential iApp users than Mac users as potential clients.

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