Apple announced on Thursday that the Mac App Store for Mac OS X Snow Leopard will debut with both free and paid applications for download on Jan. 6, 2011.
Apple is planning a January 6 opening for an online shop stocked with software applications that add entertaining or functional features to the firm’s Macintosh computers.
The Mac App Store will launch in 90 countries and offer free and paid mini-programs in categories including games, lifestyle, education, productivity, graphics and design, the iconic California company announced in a press release.
“The App Store revolutionized mobile apps,” said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, referring to the shop specializing in software programs for iPhones, iPads, and iPod touch devices.
“We hope to do the same for PC (personal computer) apps with the Mac App Store by making finding and buying PC apps easy and fun.”
Purchased apps can run on all personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store, making it easy to keep apps up to date. The Mac App Store will be 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. To find out more about developing for the Mac App Store visit developer.apple.com/programs/mac.
The store is expected to work in a similar fashion to the App store currently used on the iPhone, with some software available as a free download.
It is unclear what the median price point will be for paid software. Currently the most popular paid mobile phone apps cost between $1 and $5.
Apple clearly plans to take full advantage of the Mac Store, as it noted in the announcement on its Web site. To start, Apple will make its own software available through the store, including Pages, Numbers, GarageBand and iPhoto. This software will cost between $15 and $30.
Earlier this month, Google Inc. opened an online shop stocked with applications tailored for its increasingly popular Chrome Web browsing software. Chrome Web Store was intended to be a spot for “apps” to be discovered.
The new Google’s shop was only available in the United States but would spread internationally, complete with payment platforms in local currencies, early next year, according to Google.
Applications have fueled the popularity of smartphones by letting people personalize and customize handsets with mini-programs created by third-party developers. [Apple via NY Times and Apple Insider]