back to article Apple to 'boot boxed software from retail boutiques'

Now that Apple has opened its online Mac App Store, it is reportedly poised to evict boxed software from its brick-and-mortar retail stores. "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, …

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Silver badge
Badgers

Adobe CS Distribution

This is already available from Adobe as a Digital Download.

So why would they need it in the App Store.

Sure they can have elements & lightroom in there if need be but they are already available digitally.

It was true (until Jan 11) that a digital download from Adobe was more expensive than getting the Boxed Software. This was due you you paying Irish VAT as the d/l's came from there. The bixes were shipped from the UK so attracted UK VAT.

For the larger 'Pro' software having them in the App Store might not be such good business for the supplier. For Adobe to take a 30% hit on a Full CS purchase might be more than they could swallow. They might just raise their already pretty hefty prices even more.

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Silver badge
Unhappy

Phase 2

I'm sure it's just around the corner when it's decided that the *only* way to get software onto a Mac is via the App Store.

Still, we should be grateful, right? At least that way it won't be more expensive than the boxed copy, as the boxed copy won't exist....

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Stop

"...won't be more expesive than the boxed copy"

Think again.

Adobe already charges more for downloads than boxes.

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Production Premium:

Boxed: £1810.80

Digital: £1825.89

I expect they'd ovver the reasoning that they're paying for the server upkeep. Which would be bull, since you can download the products as trials over and over.

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Anonymous Coward

I agree

They will make it so you can only install via the store and then remove optical drives from their systems.

That way you wont be able to rip CD's so you will buy all your music from itunes

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Anonymous Coward

la la la I can't hear you

did you not understand the previous post?

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Boffin

@Adam T

I think you missed my point - when the glorious day of reckoning comes, and all boxed copies are banned, then "Digital: £1825.89" *will* be the cheapest, as there will be nothing to compare it to. Admittedly it will also be the most expensive..

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Troll

Boxes?

Boxes are just too damn dirty for the sterile environment of an apple store!

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Good

I was surprised to see Aperture for sale at the Apple store the other day. Who wants to pay $200 when it is $80 at the App store. I think we can be honest and say that anything that will fit on 1 DVD does not have to solve in physical form. it is a waste resources. OTOH this is clearly one of many efforts by Apple cut out third party retailers. I hope they extend this to the Applecare products. it is quite stupid to have to order a box for something that has no substantial physical content.

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some four years ago

I bought Informix and it was "digital delivery" i.E. a download and the keys by mail.

Even the full CS5 suite looks cheap compared to Informix Extended Parallel Server for a four socket machine :)

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Silver badge
WTF?

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.

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Flame

"...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!

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Silver badge

Shareholders?

So it would seem! Though I'm not sure the shareholders would agree. Oh wait, they don't get dividends out of Apple anyway...

Seems to me that the Apple share marketplace has some similarities to a Ponzi scheme. It's the guys holding the shares at the time of a crash who lose out. The set up would appear to be completely dependent on share holder confidence; dent that (e.g. Jobs gets a sniffle) and the price might crash. Would Apple be able to respond with buy back schemes or dividend payouts quickly enough to stop a major crash taking place?

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Joke

Just get faster broadband.

Lay your own cable if the ones in your area aren't fast enough. Not that big of a deal.

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Gold badge

Downloads are slower?

I suppose you live next door to an Apple store then? you can just take the box off the shelf and install it?

If you order software mail order you're going to wait 24 hours before you can install it. If you buy from a retail store it may take a few hours to get there, buy and then get home.

A download is going to be a fair bit faster and if anything it will mean less bloaty software.

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Thumb Up

Sounds like a business opportunity!

Download and mail service. Order by fax or carrier pigeon :)

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Jobs Horns

Depends on the broadband speed

A friend of mine who is now a big Apple fan recently bought Logic Pro for his college course. It came on 9 DVDs, sizes of the DVDs ranged from 2.5GB on one disk to about 7GB on the rest of them, so total download size of about 55GB.

I had to help him out by making disk images of the DVDs as his MacBook didn't have a DVD drive and that took best part of 2 hours. If he'd downloaded it on his 512KBit broadband it would have taken him the best part of 10 days or so if it was running at full pelt.

Granted it's fine for folks who have quick broadband (I dare say I could download 50GB on my 20Mbit broadband connection in a day or two) but not everyone has that luxury.

Probably not so bad though for smaller (say up to 2 or 3GB) applications.

Rob

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Troll

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"

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Gold badge

Custom hardware

So name me a few companies who's computers contain fully custom hardware?

The day of custom chips ended long ago. Even the PPC Macs were using off the shelf parts.

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The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.

Sony (The last 2 playstaions)

I think there was a hardware compatible C64 clone built with FPGA's too, but your going to tell me that doesn't count.

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No disc = No Drives

Seems pretty obvious that having no software on CD or DVD eliminates the need for CD/DVD drives on Mac hardware - send 'em the way of the floppy drive. Once you add a solid state hard drive, you've pretty much eliminated ALL moving parts (except possibly a fan).

As far as dial up, do Macs still have modems and phone jacks? I'm not sure that my HP laptop does. Must look.

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Jobs Horns

No phone jack

And the USB modem is not in the online store any more. Glad I saved mine, I've needed it a couple of times for work.

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FAIL

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.

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Anonymous Coward

Hmm...

Are the apps that are to be downloaded individual install files or do they install in some way which prevents end customers customising them? What I'm thinking is that even relatively small SMEs often require the same software centrally packaged and distributed and it would be a royal pain to have to download for each required install.

I'd hope that there remains a physical media option.

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Media files

One of the biggest problems with expensive software isn't the size of the application package, but the media files that come with it. I can see Apple selling Final Cut on the App Store, but to do so they'll have to seperate a whole lot of the media as "on-demand" downloading or similar.

There's certainly no shortage of high-end expensive download-only applications, and digital offers much better support opportunities.

And price doesn't neccessarily equate to size:

Final Cut Studio, £834, ~24GB full install, occassional update through OS X Software Update.

SideFX Houdini, £5k+, ~220MB, updated with daily builds.

There's also the question of product licensing - some software has it's own copy protection systems, license servers, floating licenses and so on. How would these play in an App Store ecosystem? My guess is that they wouldn't, as much as I'd like to finally do away with bloody annoying product licensing roundabouts.

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Anonymous Coward

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

"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."

It's not much of a benefit when you've already got your own delivery mechanism and you have to trash it and use Apple's.

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Thumb Down

"That's enough of..."

"...having to destroy boxes when we've released a new version"

Now see, if I were running a software company that sold boxed copies, I'd probably be thinking that whenever version n was released, the remaining copies of version n-1 could then go on sale at a discounted price to potentially bring in some new customers who shied away from my products at their full retail price but who would consider buying a legit copy of the previous (so not exactly *that* much out of date) version if the price were dropped a bit... The thought that I'd be left with no alternative but to destroy any remaining copies of n-1 as soon as n became available really wouldn't enter my mind.

OK, so *perhaps* what he really meant was "that's enough of having to destroy boxes when, after attempting to shift the remaining inventory at knock-down prices for a period of time most people would consider reasonable enough to allow anyone who wanted to buy a cheap copy the chance to do so, we still find ourselves left with unsold stock that we honestly don't think we could even give away now", but you know, I get the feeling that's not what he really meant at all...

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This post has been deleted by its author

Grenade

Why don't you...

1. Read the previous comments, as your suggestion already has prior art?

2. Read your own comments before submitting them?

3. Punctuate questions with question-marks?

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