Rumor: Apple Dropping Boxed Software from Retail Locations

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.