We have already seen what the Mac App Store effect looks like. The new Store for Mac users is providing an easy way to discover and install Mac applications and, together with that, a better way for developers to showcase their software to a larger audience, as the Mac App Store is installed by default on every system running OS X 10.6.6. Several developers reported good sales for the Mac App Store launch day, but we think LittleFin Software might be the best example of the power of the Mac App Store so far.
LittleFin was selling between 6 - 10 copies of Compartments, a simple home inventory app for the Mac we reviewed here, a day through their website. The day before the Mac App Store launch, they sold only 7 copies. But as soon as the Store launched on January 6 and Apple featured the app in the Mac App Store homepage and its “Great Mac Apps” webpage, LittleFin saw a terrific increase in sales. In fact, they sold 1,547 copies in the first 24 hours of the Mac App Store. The app, now featured under “Staff Favorites”, is available at $9.99. Before the Mac App Store the app was sold at $24.95; the developers decided to lower the price as an experiment. Since January 6, the app has been selling 1,000 copies a day on average.
Developer Mike Dattolo of LittleFin shares his thoughts on the company’s blog:
We have always wanted to price our apps lower. But when we tried that in the past, we simply couldn’t get enough volume to justify it. So like other developers, we were a little nervous about the potential for a race to the bottom in the Mac App Store, even though we came in with reduced prices ourselves. The removal of purchase barriers (everyone has an Apple ID) and the huge potential audience of the Mac App Store is providing enough volume that we can offer lower prices. Of course, our apps are simple, and belong at low price points. A number of expensive apps (such as iBank, OmniFocus) seem to be doing quite well so far as well. For us, though, under $10 is working. We briefly had Chronicle at $14.95 in the App Store, but when we put it on sale for $9.95, it started grossing more.
Another app by LittleFin, Chronicle, is also available in the Mac App Store and doing pretty well. Chronicle is currently selling between 80 - 100 copies a day. As a side effect to the Mac App Store, LittleFin is seeing increased traffic and app sales on their website, too.
Compartments by LittleFin is one of the first stories of success in the Mac App Store, and we’re sure more will follow in the next months. The App Store is a well-oiled and tested mechanism, and with a little bit of luck (like an Apple feature), a good app and some minimal marketing efforts, developers will be able to achieve the sales figures they’ve always wanted. We’ll see what happens in the next months.