Mac App Store Expectations

With the launch of the Mac App Store (and presumably Mac OS X 10.6.6) a mere 18 hours away, some developers are taking a moment to set expectations regarding pricing and upgrade paths for existing customers.

One of the more notable developers in the Mac Community, Realmac Software, weighed in with their opinions and product roadmap. Yesterday, Realmac shared their thoughts on how Mac software will take shape in the near future, becoming more focused in experience and lighter on consumers’ wallets.

And then today they put their money where there mouth is when they detailed pricing for their apps on the Mac App Store. Realmac’s flagship app Rapidweaver will debut at a steep discount. On their web store, the app sells for $79, with upgrades from previous versions running for $39. The Mac App Store price will match the upgrade price, so upgraders can choose which path they wish to take. For new users, it’s nearly a no-brainer to go with the Mac App Store.

Realmac’s second most notable product, LittleSnapper, has it’s price lowered to $25 in both stores. LittleSnapper normally runs $39.

Finally, Realmac’s newest app, Courier, is taking the most drastic plunge — it has been removed from the company’s own store entirely, going exclusively to the Mac App Store. And that’s not all. The app’s usual $19 price is being cut to $5. As you can see, Realmac is leaping into the Mac App Store in a big way. Thankfully, customers who previously purchased Courier can get in touch with Realmac for a refund after they go grab the App Store version.

I am sure other developers have begun to announce things in preparation for tomorrow, but Realmac really caught my eye today. They are taking a bold plunge, and I hope it pays off for them. I, for one, am an avid user of LittleSnapper, and I’ll be scooping up Courier straight away tomorrow.

It will be interesting to see how developers handle the transition to the Mac App Store. My guess is that many will sell and maintain a version on their own site and the Mac App Store for a while, and then go exclusively to the Mac App Store with the next major release of an app.

Interesting times indeed.