Back in 2013, Dan Counsell, the CEO of Realmac Software (a company which developed the popular iOS app Clear and several popular OS X apps, including RapidWeaver), wrote a good post “Sustainability and the Mac App Store” about their take on Mac App Store pricing.

The post is a good read, but here’s the TL;DR version:

  • Unlike iOS App Store, Mac App Store audience is not yet large enough to sustain low prices
  • Discounts can increase the numbers of app users, but they usually hurt profitability over time, especially when users are accustomed to frequent discounts refuse to purchase apps that are not on sale, and wait until their favourite app will go on sale before purchasing it
  • Following these insights, guys in Realmac Software have decided to stop offering discounts on their apps in Mac App Store:

    So we’re doing something different on the Mac App Store – and we’re going to buck the trend a little. We’re not going to devalue our Mac apps by putting them on sale, we’re going to ask a fair price that ensures we can keep on building the apps you love. It’s as simple as that: stable, sustainable prices for apps that we think you’ll love.

Recently, Realmac Software released the latest version of their flagship product RapidWeaver with a direct version only, skipping Mac App Store:

It was a hard decision to launch outside the Mac App Store, but I’m glad we did. We’ve been able to provide a much better customer experience, especially for all our existing customers. Not only were we able to provide upgrade pricing, we were also able to provide free upgrades to customer customers that purchased RapidWeaver 5 in the 2 months before version 6 came out, and issue them with a free upgrade automatically. In my opinion this is great customer service, and something that’s missing from the Mac App Store.

Realmac Software is not the only company developing OS X apps that is skipping Mac App Store. Some others are: Panic for the latest version of its Coda web development app and Bare Bones Software, with popular HTML and text editor BBEdit.

Will this trend of developers jumping Mac App Store ship continue? Will Apple be forced to make changes in Mac App Store policies and functionality in order to stop this trend? Or will developers just have to adjust to Mac App Store low pricing, lack of flexibility and paid upgrades? Hard to say, but if history of past Apple behaviour is any indication, it will not make much concessions to the developers, and they will have to adjust…

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