The Mac App Store's Future Of Irrelevance

Marco Arment, writes:

In the first year of the Mac App Store, before sandboxing, I bought as much as I could from it. As a customer, the convenience was so great that I even repurchased a few apps that I already owned just to have the App Store updates and reinstallation convenience. And, most importantly, when an app was available both in and out of the Mac App Store, I always bought the App Store version, even if it was more expensive. But now, I’ve lost all confidence that the apps I buy in the App Store today will still be there next month or next year. The advantages of buying from the App Store are mostly gone now. My confidence in the App Store, as a customer, has evaporated. I agree whole-heartedly with Marco on this. When the Mac App Store first came out, I began buying everything on it, and why not? It was great! I could sit down at any of my 4 Macs and instantly have access (well, with download times maybe not quite instantly - but easily) to all of my OS X software. I began to snug apps who weren't on the Mac App Store unless I absolutely needed them, such as SuperDuper!. And then, Apple had to rain on its own parade with Sandboxing and Entitlements. Now, I've had to purchase newer versions of several apps off of the Mac App Store because they've pulled out due to Apple's onerous restrictions that break core functionality of their apps. Apps that have been hampered by the Mac App Store that I rely on or are very popular: Textexpander, Alfred (which you cannot get from the MAS if you want to add-on their 'Powerpack' functionality due to the inability for in-app purchases), Hazel, SuperDuper!, Reflection, all of Atlassian's apps, Postbox. Myself, Manton Reece, Daniel Jalkut and others have been keeping a running list of articles on Pinboard about apps that have pulled out or have had updates rejected due to Sanboxing shenanigans. Someone at Apple who has the power to step in and reverse this poor direction Apple is currently taking with the Mac App Store had better do so soon, otherwise they are going to either doom the Mac App Store from being a long term success or lose years of progress while they recover from this bad decision years from now.

Half of U.S. Homes Own Apple Products

Half of U.S. homes own Apple products –

"That's more than 55 million homes with at least one iPhone, iPad, iPod or Mac computer. And one-in-10 homes that aren't currently in that group plan to join it in the next year. But Apple doesn't have to worry about brand saturation any time soon. Americans don't stop with just one device. Homes that own least one Apple, own an average of three. Overall, the average household has 1.6 Apple devices, with almost one-quarter planning to buy at least one more in the next year. "It's a fantastic business model — the more of our products you own, the more likely you are to buy more," says Jay Campbell, a vice president of Hart Research Associates, which conducts the CNBC survey along with Bill McInturff. "Planned obsolescence has always been a part of the technology industries sales model, but Apple has taken it to a whole new level.""

(Via USA Today.)

The iPad Is Unbeatable

Farhad Manjoo, writing for Slate:

Imagine you run a large technology company not named Apple. Let’s say you’re Steve Ballmer, Michael Dell, Meg Whitman, Larry Page, or Intel’s Paul Otellini. How are you feeling today, a day after Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled the new iPad? Are you discounting the device as just an incremental improvement, the same shiny tablet with a better screen and faster cellular access? Or is it possible you had trouble sleeping last night? Did you toss and turn, worrying that Apple’s new device represents a potential knockout punch, a move that will cement its place as the undisputed leader of the biggest, most disruptive new tech market since the advent of the Web browser? Maybe your last few hours have been even worse than that. Perhaps you’re now paralyzed with confusion, fearful that you might be completely boxed in by the iPad—that there seems no good way to beat it. For your sake, my hypothetical CEO friend, I hope you’re frightened. He hopes, but I doubt it. If they were, they would be restructuring their entire companies in order to compete with this new market. As far as I can tell, they're still in finger-in-their-ears-saying-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-I-can't-hear-you mode.

Gina Trapani ports Todo.txt from Android to iOS, 40% More Sales On First Day

Co-host of the TWiT network's This Week in Google podcast and highly regarded Android proponent, Gina Tapani, has ported her Todo.txt Android app to iOS:

I announced the app went on sale yesterday morning on Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, then Lifehacker ran a post on it. It got no other press coverage. I announced the Android app release in exactly the same way on January 24th of last year (minus Google+, which didn't exist then). If my Googling skills serve me right, Lifehacker did not run a post the day the Android app went on sale, though they did the week before when I was beta-testing it. The first day of iOS app sales was solid: just around 365 apps sold, compared to the 215 I sold on the first day of Todo.txt Touch's availability in the Android Market. That means the iOS app sold 40% more units under somewhat similar conditions as the Android app on release day. Her whole post is worth the read as she discusses how the project came together (it's open source) and some of her thoughts on working on an iOS app in comparison to an Android app.

How Many iPhones Will Be Upgraded Next Year?

Horace Dediu, writing for Asymco:

Last week I proposed that there were two significant markets for the new iPhone: 1) the existing iPhone user base 2) smartphone “non-consumers”. Today I want to dig a bit deeper into the first market to get an idea of what it amounts to. Very good analysis.