There’s a number of threads about this topic since Apple announced OS X Lion and the app store for Mac. And that definitely changes things… especially if you can run iOS apps on your desktop.
It changes things because of cost. iOS apps, despite their surprising abilities, are less expensive than their desktop equivalents. Since they often seem to work just grandly for people, it makes you wonder whether people haven’t been living with bloated, feature crazed software. It also makes you wonder whether a “pro” app, or a development environment will ever be sold through that store.
And it changes things because you give Apple a say of whether your app “qualifies” with all the pain that has caused developers. (Code signing is mess. In the words of the governors race “the pain is too… damn high!”
But what of the long tail effect the store generates? That is, dev’s are “gaming” the current store by updating often (leaking the most minor improvements drop by drop) because it brings you to the fore of various marketing efforts. (Think a “recently released” list). It may not be best for their users, but if the only channel to sales is that store then marketing efforts are significantly limited to how people find things in that store.
So far the iOS store seems to generate high sales for the top items and virtually no attention for the vast majority of offerings. First in category, timing, etc. play a large part of this type of sourcing and the tools to find gems hidden in the dust are slim at best.
But that’s inside the store. On the Mac there’s no reason why other stores couldn’t compete, at the moment, although you’d have to find a way to bootstrap that store. But it’s not harder than what dev’s are doing now.
Let’s just be more tasteful than the average Mall though. ‘K?