Apple officially announced this morning that the Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday, January 6. With it, Apple hopes to make discovering, installing and updating Macintosh programs as easy as with apps for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The Mac App Store will be available in 90 countries at launch, and will feature paid and free apps in categories such as education, games, graphics and design, lifestyle, productivity and utilities.
The timing seems odd to me, coming so closely on the heels of the lucrative holiday season. This leads me to believe that, as we covered earlier this month, Apple intended for the Mac App Store to be up and running in early december, but ran into some problems that pushed it back. It also makes their lack of interest in Macworld Expo even more unfortunate, as this is exactly the sort of thing that would’ve been great to announce during a Steve Jobs keynote presentation, instead of via press release.
Speaking of that, here’s some verbiage:
The Mac App Store lets you browse new and noteworthy apps, find out what’s hot, view staff favorites, search categories and read customer ratings and reviews. Like on iPhone®, iPod touch® and iPad™, you can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately. Purchased apps can run on all of your personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it’s easy to keep all of your apps up to date. The Mac App Store is available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard® users as a free download through Software Update.
Mac developers set the price for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees.
For more information on the Mac App Store, visit Apple.com.