70/30: Apple’s Magic Moneymaking Machine
Folks who just watched the Apple event will note something strange: Jobs announced OS X Lion, saying it would arrive in the Summer of 2011. But, he said, he wanted us to have a little gift. It’s called the Apple App Store for laptops and desktops and it’s how lots of people – especially Apple – will start printing money.
Back in the old days, if you wanted to sell an Apple app you had to make a really good app, make a really good website, and have John Gruber or Merlin Mann link to it. You waited, hoped people bought the app, and iterated the apps over and over, giving updates out for free. It was a hit-or-miss affair. This is how software sales had always worked, even under Windows and even under most phone OSes – until the iPhone App Store.
Suddenly you had a quasi-curated, easy-to-use, one-click system for downloading apps. It worked really well. This was great for phones. So why not add it to OS X?