Look out Apple: Amazon launches Mac App Download Store
When I first read the headline “Amazon launches Mac Download Store“, I thought it was an Onion headline. Somehow it almost seemed akin to Amazon building it’s own Macs for some reason. Yet, sure enough, it DOES exist, and just as the Amazon music store beats Apple’s iTunes in most ways, it looks like Amazon’s Mac App Store is also out doing Apple’s own offering.
First of all, Amazon has special Free apps. These aren’t just the same “always free” apps found in the FREE section of Apple’s Store, these are Paid apps Amazon has made free for a day (Currently the $6.99 game Airport Mania: First Flight is free – and still $6.99 on Apple’s App Store). Second, Amazon has some pretty big software titles that Apple’s store is missing, such as the Microsoft Office Suite, and games such as Civilization V and Dragon Age Origins. Third, all your app purchases are backed up to Amazon’s cloud drive, where they can be redownloaded forever. And fourth, Amazon is offering a $5.00 off coupon on any Mac Store order (see below). I don’t think Apple has even offered a coupon code for anything. Ever.
From Amazon PR:“Mac Download store features an install-less download process where the customer gets just the product without any unwanted extras, making for faster and easier purchases. Plus, downloads are conveniently backed up in your Games and Software Library where you can download an unlimited number of times for personal use”
So, will the Amazon store put Apple’s out of business? Probably not. While the 250+ titles Amazon is offering will likely grow rather quickly, I doubt they will ever have the selection of free and indie apps and utilities that can be picked up on Apple’s store for 99¢. It probably isn’t worth it to them. But more importantly, working against Amazon is that just as with iTunes vs Amazon’s digital music store, the Amazon offering is just not as easy to use or navigate as Apple’s, so the lazier/more tech UNsavvy people out there will likely stick to Apple’s easily accessible version.
However, it’s worth noting that Apple’s dominance in music came from years of being more or less uncontested. Amazon actually came to the Mac App store party fairly quickly, so who knows? One thing I DO know is I will be comparing prices, just as I do with music, before making any Mac App purchases going forward, and somehow I think if the same app is on both stores, I’ll be buying it on Amazon (for less).