Apple’s Mac App Store hits 100 million downloads in year


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Apple has hit 100 million downloads from its online software shop, the Mac App Store.

When the company opened the digital shop in January of this year, its goal was to put an end to the old days of PC software on a box -- the kind users bought from brick and mortar stores like Best Buy or Fry’s, or Babbage’s, or Software Etc., or Egghead Software, or the Softwarehouse, or CompUSA. (Am I missing any obvious ones?)

After all, the logic goes, software is just 1’s and 0’s -- so why would you need to drive somewhere to pick up a shrink-wrapped package full of it?


So far, the approach appears to be working. The store is averaging 8 million downloads per month this year. That includes the summer launch of Lion, the latest version of its Macintosh operating system, which sold more than 1 million digital copies in its first day, far outpacing sales of any previous OS X release.

What the company did not say is how many of the 100 million apps downloaded were, specifically, its operating system -- or how many of them were counted from the many free apps available on the store.

However, some companies do approach online software sales by offering free and paid apps. Autodesk Inc. offers a simpler, free version of its AutoCAD software through the store, and its $900 AutoCAD LT version for pros (or amateurs that get hooked).

Apple also said its iPhone and iPad-based App Store hit 18 billion total downloads. That store went online for the iPhone and iPod Touch in 2008.

-- David Sarno (@dsarno)