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Mac App Store: winners and losers

By launching the Mac App Store, Mr. Jobs has effectively taken control of the last piece of software development for the Mac world.

It is going to be hard to make a dime anywhere in the Apple ecosystem without handing a cut to Apple. Apple’s level of control now far exceeds the power Microsoft ever had in its heyday.

As an immediate impact, we will see that people will buy more software. The masses will be leaning toward tools that are in the “micro-payment” price range.

Developers will be tempted to cater to this audience. Software will be written simply for this purpose. Writing software to cater to the (non-existing) needs of a general audience is quite different than writing to a niche segment where you know who your audience is.

Users might get more distracted with more tools at their hands that they initially didn’t even think of. Some will be useful and some will waste their time. Browsing for software as an alternative to going shopping on Amazon else will be a new experience for many.

Apple will be able to steer and suppress certain software developments due to its ruling power over the App store. We have seen this happening in the iTunes store already.

Developers will have to find ways to race to the top. There will be a new niche for marketers that help developers to accomplish that goal. As a developer you have to spread out your proceeds between your marketing efforts and the 30% cut Apple is taking.

What is left?

Maybe taking a cut for every mile driven when music is played from an iPod? We very much like our Apple products but we are also aware of the fact that even the Roman empire eventually came to an end.

I recently switched from my iPhone to a MyTouch 4G and am quite happy with the transition. It is refreshing to see that there is another world out there that actually functions quite well without the tough Apple-style supervision.

Sometimes I still like to have things my way.

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