Realmac talks about the future of the Mac App Store and reduces pricing

David Winograd
D. Winograd|01.06.11

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Realmac talks about the future of the Mac App Store and reduces pricing

In anticipation of tomorrow's opening of the Mac App Store, Realmac Software announced pricing for its line of Macintosh software that will appear in the store. In a blog post yesterday, Realmac wrote that it believes the Mac App Store will usher in more focused apps that will do one thing and one thing well. The days of "Swiss Army Knife" programs may be winding down.

Realmac also believes upgrade pricing is a thing of the past with software vendors taking a cue from Apple; the company sells its iLife and iWork suites for a set price and provides minor upgrades until a new full version is released, when the consumer is then charged the full price for the new version. Lastly, Realmac believes that prices of apps in the Mac App Store will get cheaper since the iOS App Store created an auction market that drove down prices. Where prices will end up is anyone's guess.

In light of this, Realmac made some pretty big changes. RapidWeaver, the website creation tool, is dropping in price both on the Mac App Store and on the Realmac site, from US$79 down to $39.99 for a limited time. It seems like Realmac is taking a flyer on this, since they are interested in seeing how prices shake out, and intend to adjust the price accordingly as time goes by.

LittleSnapper, a powerful, flexible website and screen capture utility (read our review of the 1.0 release here), is dropping in price from a previous $39 to $24.95 on both the site and the Mac App Store.

Courier is a social networking app that lets you create a postcard and drop photos, videos or documents on it. The media will be transferred to your choice of a number of sites including: Flickr, Vimeo, Amazon S3, Ember, YouTube and Facebook. Courier is being taken out of the Realmac online store altogether and will be the company's first app that's only available in the Mac App Store. The price will dramatically drop from $19.99 down to a very inexpensive $4.99 when it hits the store. In an unprecedented move, Realmac will refund the purchase price for anyone who previously bought Courier and re-buys it in the Mac App Store. I'm very curious to see how this gamble plays out. Here's our first look at Courier when it launched.

Socialite is one of fellow blogger TJ Luoma's favorite apps of 2010. It collects all of your data from Twitter, Facebook, Digg, Flickr, Google Reader or just about anything else into one program. Socialite has been sold off to Apparent Software, who will be selling in both in the Mac App Store and on their site for $9.95 as an introductory price, down from about $25 for the ad-free version.

It looks like the first few weeks, or months, of the Mac App Store will be similar to the trampoline ethic of the iOS App Store, where prices fluctuated all over the place at introduction and took some time to calm down. If I were you, I would keep a sharp eye out for potential bargains showing up tomorrow and grab them while you can. When the market settles, I'm sure that some of the introductory bargain prices will vanish like a puff of smoke.
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