Taking a page from its successful iPhone e-commerce model, Apple said it plans to open an online store from which consumers can purchase Mac applications as soon as January 6th.
The Mac App Store will be available to shoppers in 90 countries as of launch day if all goes as planned. There'll be apps—both paid, not surprisingly, as well as freebees—in a number of categories, including games, education, graphics & design, lifestyle, productivity, and utilities.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said the Mac App Store will do for the Mac platform what the App Store did for the iPhone—make it one of the hottest tech buys on the planet.
"The App Store revolutionized mobile apps," said Jobs, in a recent statement. "We hope to do the same for PC apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun. We can't wait to get started on January 6," said Jobs.
As with the iPhone store, independent developers who sell their apps through the Mac App Store will get to keep 70% of the profits. They also do not have to pay any hosting, marketing, or credit card processing fees.
Apple is counting on the strategy to lure developers away from Microsoft's Windows ecosystem, which is under pressure from iOS and Android-based tablets from Samsung and others, and smartphones.
Still, Windows continues to own more than 90% of the PC operating system market, with the Mac—despite all the recent buzz around Apple—holding a stake of just over 5%, according to the most recent data. Jobs is doubtless hoping the Mac App Store's opening will boost that number significantly.
The Mac App Store client is available as a free download for Mac OS X "Snow Leopard" users. Apple shares were up .55%, to $323.99, in afternoon trading Tuesday.
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