Rumor: Apple Dropping Boxed Software from Retail Locations

| Rumor

Apple’s own retail locations may be moving away from carrying packaged software in favor of sending customers to the Mac App Store for application downloads, according to the latest rumors.

Word of the in store change comes via unnamed sources at Mac Rumors along with claims that Mac buyers will be shown how to use the Mac App Store when they buy a new computer.

Rumor claims boxed software on the way out for Apple Stores

The Mac App Store is Apple’s new online service where customers can purchase applications for their computer in the same way that they buy apps for their iPhone and iPad at the iTunes-based App Store.

While the idea of offering customers software downloads instead of retail boxes sounds enticing because it reduces packaging waste and frees up shelf space for other products, it may not be practical for some companies. Adobe, for example, doesn’t offer versions of its Creative Suite applications through the Mac App Store and isn’t likely to build special versions of titles like Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign for Apple’s online store.

Pulling boxed software from the stores also stops Apple from being a one-stop-shop for customers that want to purchase titles on disc for business or as gifts.

Since Apple hasn’t confirmed that it really is switching to download-only sales for software titles, word of the plan should be treated for now as an unsubstantiated rumor.


John Molloy

I think that Apple is actually stopping the resale market. You can’t really sell on a download. I don’t think they will stop selling Logic and FCP as these both require many Gigabytes of supporting data. Borderlands GOTY at 9.5 gigs is pushing it.


If true, this would be a major mistake. Many folks use their computer offline, or are unaware of the existence of the app store (which is only useful if you are running Leopard anyway).

I hope it is not true.

Dean Lewis

I don’t particularly buy this rumor. People buying a computer are likely to buy one or a few software titles as they do. The space for the software is already there, and there isn’t that much stocked as it is—just mainly Apple software and top titles. It could be Apple is dropping some titles to make room for others or because they are selling better online, and this rumor grew out of that.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I wonder if the Microsoft store will be dropping boxed software.


Good point, Boski, but the only thing M$ is going to be dropping is dead. And I mean this in only the nicest way.

Lee Dronick

I wonder if the Microsoft store will be dropping boxed software.

Or cutting back on shipping boxed software to save costs, and maybe that is what Apple is doing. Look at the price break you get from buying Aperture from the Mac App Store, it is still listed as $199 for the boxed set. How much does producing, warehousing, shipping even the relatively small size of boxed software cost a publisher?

Taking software off of the shelves in an Apple store opens up space to display and stock hardware and accessories.


Apple requires a credit card.  Does not use PayPal.  Bad.

Lee Dronick

Apple requires a credit card.? Does not use PayPal.? Bad.

Or a prepaid iTunes card


I suppose you need a credit card or an Apple store to get a prepaid iTunes card.  Some of us live in the boonies.

Lee Dronick

I suppose you need a credit card or an Apple store to get a prepaid iTunes card.? Some of us live in the boonies.

I hope that I didn’t come across as snarky. Anyway I have seen prepaid iTunes cards sold in many places, grocery stores, pharmacies, Target, WalMart* and you can buy them with cash or check, but to be fair I don’t live in the boonies.

I don’t think that Apple, MicroSoft, Adobe and the other big players will do away with boxed sets. Just that maybe the software won’t be sold in the Apple Retail Stores. Besides this story is rumor.


No. I was thinking of the potential irony.

I think there is a good argument for stopping boxed sets. I noticed that lately you do not need a product key to install Apple software.

I always buy family packs because I have 2 macs and to keep my mother and a few friends up to date.  This is easy with the boxed sets.

But will this be possible through the iTunes Store as they check out your computer for what is installed on it.  My guess is Family packs will soon be history (couldn’t find one last year for Aperture 3.0)

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