Submissions fall to all-time low as devs lose interest in Mac App Store

Submissions fall to all-time low as devs lose interest in Mac App Store


Office Mac App Store
Fewer than 300 new apps hit the Mac App Store last month.
Photo: Apple

Developers are seemingly losing interest in bringing their titles to the Mac App Store, with new submissions steadily declining since the beginning of 2021. There were fewer than 300 new releases for the first time ever in July.

And research indicates August could prove even worse for new Mac App Store submissions.

The App Store has been an overwhelming success on iOS since it first opened its doors in 2008. It continues to see thousands of new releases every month, with the total number of apps available now around 2 million.

On iPhone and iPad, however, the App Store is the only place to obtain your software. It’s different on Mac, where developers have always had the freedom to offer their titles elsewhere. And it seems many are doing just that.

The number of new titles hitting the Mac App Store is at an all-time low.

Mac App Store sees decline in new submissions

Data from AppFigures indicates more than 400 new titles were released through the Mac App Store in January 2021. That’s close to the monthly average of 392 new apps landing on the Mac App Store in 2020.

By June 2021, however, that figure dropped to fewer than 300 for the first time ever — and it has been falling ever since. July saw even fewer Mac App Store releases, and it seems August is shaping up to be even worse, with the new of new titles “dropping into the low 200s.”

Mac App Store submissions: It's not looking good
It’s not looking good.
Photo: AppFigures

The reasons behind the decline remain unclear. All we have are the figures, and Apple doesn’t offer official App Store insights like this. It could have something to do with the introduction of Apple Silicon-powered Macs, with developers focusing efforts on updating existing titles to make them compatible or taking more time to optimize upcoming apps for the new hardware.

But it also could be a sign that a greater number of developers are choosing to ignore the Mac App Store and release their titles directly to consumers. That saves devs the headache of App Store approval — and, perhaps more importantly, lets them avoid the 15% to 30% cut Apple takes from all developer revenues.

The Mac App Store’s problems

Developers have voiced complaints about Apple’s revenue cut and other Mac App Store issues in the past. Apple still doesn’t offer free trials (unless they are for subscriptions) or bundles that allow developers to offer discounts to those who purchase multiple titles.

The problems regarding the App Store on iPhone and iPad have become big news in recent months, with many developers fighting for fairer, more relaxed rules that will give them a little more freedom.

South Korea on Tuesday became the first to introduce a new law that will force Apple (and Google) to allow developers to implement third-party payment systems into their apps — sidestepping Apple’s cut — and it is believed that other countries will soon follow suit.


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