games to business, Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) Mac
App Store follows in the footsteps of such Windows PC software markets
as Valve Corp.'s STEAM engine (now
available on Macs), making the push to digital distribution. Despite
an initial catalog of 1,000 apps and one
million downloads in its first day of activity, the new App Store
reportedly has seen slow sales [source]
since its launch in January 2011.
Still, Apple is determined to see the new distribution format through to
success. According to a report
by Apple Insider, it's prepared to
show that commitment by making the Mac App Store the primary source of Mac OS X
"Lion" 10.7 OS upgrade, set to launch this summer.
A source close to Apple says that the company will also be offering traditional
optical media upgrades "for those with slower connections, or [for those
who for whatever reason do] not want to download it."
The move to digital distribution will be a boon for the MacBook Air, which
lacks a built in optical disk drive.
Apple reportedly looks to gut the optical drive from the remaining members of
its lineup including the MacBook Pro and MacBook within the next year to two
years. The removal will allow for slimmer designs and a larger battery.
Apple is also working to phase out the boxed software section of its stores,
making room for more lucrative Mac accessories and repairs/service sections.
The company is reportedly contemplating a complete
removal of boxed software from its store shelves in the near future.
The upcoming "Lion" OS is currently in
beta. It offers many new features that bring OS X more in line with
iOS -- the mobile operating system used in Apple's iPhone, iPad, and iPods.
In that regard this release is expected to be more
pivotal than the standard short-cycle OS bump from Apple.
Snow Leopard and the Mac App Store both require an Intel-based processor,
1GB of system RAM, and 5GB of available disk space. The original Intel
Mac systems won't be upgradeable to Lion, though -- it requires a Core 2 Duo
processor or better.