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Apple Mac App Store downloads top 100 million, still far behind mobile apps

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Apple announced today that downloads from its Mac App Store have surpassed the 100 million threshold less than a year after its debut. The makes the Mac App Store “the largest and fastest growing PC software store in the world,” says Apple. Despite this, its popularity still pales in comparison to the iTunes App Store, which saw more than 1 billion downloads only nine months after its launch.

To help boast the importance of the Mac App Store, Apple has included in the press release a number of quotes from developers, all of whom tout the online software store as a great to “reach hundreds of millions of Apple users around the world” thanks to its “unparalleled reach.”

These statements are presumably not for you, the consumer, but are instead Apple’s way of saying, “Hey, developers, please come use the Mac App Store!” Apple also extols the terms of selling app through the Mac App Store, which include giving software makers 70 percent of the revenue, and the lack of marketing and credit card processing fees.

Of course, Apple has had no problem convincing developers to make apps for its mobile devices. According to Apple, the iTunes App Store currently has more than 500,000 apps, and more than 1 billion apps are being downloaded each month. This is, of course, helped by the fact that the iPhone and iPad lines remain the most popular smartphones and tablets in the US and throughout much of the world.

The Mac App Store remains hampered by the fact that you have to have a Mac running OS X Snow Leopard (10.6) or later to use any of the 8,500 apps available through the store. Still, the early success of the Mac App Store shows that this type of distribution model — getting software through the Internet, rather than buying it in a box, at a physical retail outlet — is the future of all software distribution. Whether you like Apple and its products or not, that is a good thing.