Mac App Store to open Jan. 6
Important news from Apple this morning: The company's Mac App Store is set to launch on Jan. 6 in 90 countries. The store should bring Apple's successful app format for mobile devices to the personal computer, letting users install in one click.
The announcement by the Silicon Valley tech pioneer is likely to shake up the software market, which still depends on store sales of disks in shrink-wrapped boxes.
CEO Steve Jobs announced the coming Mac App Store in October and also promised an announcement for Snow Leopard within 90 days.
In a press release, Jobs said: "The App Store revolutionized mobile apps. 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."
The store will appear as a free upgrade to Snow Leopard users via Apple's Software Update. Developers can find out more at developer.apple.com/programs/mac.
According to a new International Data Corporation forecast released Monday, the market for mobile applications will keep growing, and the number of downloaded apps is expected to increase from 10.9 billion worldwide in 2010 to 76.9 billion in 2014. As for revenues, the market intelligence firm predicts worldwide mobile apps will top $35 billion in 2014.
In September, IDC also forecast that PC sales would see solid double-digit gains in the long term, despite a slow second half in 2010. The predicted sales would hold steady as companies replaced their old computers and sales for all-in-one desktops, such as the iMac, continued to hold steady.
Not only is there a demand to "appify" our lives, there's also a great market out there for app stores. As the Dallas Morning News pointed out this summer, consumers want a centralized place to download software instead of having to go to companies' Web sites for the latest update.
Check back later for more coverage of the announcement.
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