As predicted, Apple’s Mac App Store is already a huge success, driving sales through the roof for the small Mac developers who have already taken part even as Cupertino rakes in thirty percent off the top. Needless to say, the Mac App Store’s success indicates that Apple would eventually like to use it to drive most if not all of Mac software sales… and part of making that happen is to start downplaying the role of boxed software in the Mac ecosystem while emphasizing the Mac App Store as a central hub for OS X digital distribution.
No surprise, then, that Apple is already planning on getting rid of boxed software at their retail locations and directing customers to the Mac App Store instead, where Apple makes better margins on software sold.
In fact, it’s worth noting that Apple Stores are already downplaying the role of boxed software, namely through their Personal Setup for Mac service, which eschews selling customers physical media in favor of showing them how to use the Mac App Store.
All of this is part of a concerted effort on Apple’s part to finally move on from optical media once and for all. All together, the Mac App Store, OS X Lion, the MacBook Air’s lack of optical drive, the new Snow Leopard USB keys and Apple’s reluctance to embrace Blu-Ray make it clear that as far as Cupertino is concerned, optical media is dead. Apple Stores ditching boxed software is just another chisel stroke on the DVD tombstone.