Apple Opens Mac App Store on Jan.6

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Apple (AAPL) said its Mac App Store will open for business on Thursday, January 6 and will be available in 90 countries at launch.

The Store will feature paid and free apps in categories like Education, Games, Graphics & Design, Lifestyle, Productivity and Utilities.

Similar to iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, one can purchase, download and install apps in just one click and start using them immediately.

Purchased apps can run on all of the user's personal Macs and updates are delivered directly through the Mac App Store so it's easy to keep all of apps up to date, Apple said in a statement.

The Mac App Store is available to Mac OS X Snow Leopard users as a free download through Software Update.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) is the seventh and current major release of Mac OS X, Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. Snow Leopard will be succeeded by Mac OS 10.7 Lion, which is expected to be released in the second quarter of 2011.

Apple also noted that Mac developers set the price for their apps, keep 70 percent of the sales revenue, are not charged for free apps and do not have to pay hosting, marketing or credit card fees.

Meanwhile, Apple's App Store, opened on July 10, 2008, for the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad allows users to browse and download applications from the iTunes Store. Depending on the application, they are available either free, or at a cost. The applications can be downloaded directly to target device, or downloaded onto a computer via iTunes. Apple allows 70 percent of revenues from the store to instantly go to the seller of the app, and 30 percent go to Apple

As of Oct.20, 2010, there are at least 300,000 third-party applications officially available on the App Store, with over 7 billion total downloads. The median revenue per developed application however is estimated to be at $700, while the average costs range from $15,000 to $50,000.

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