Why is iTunes Absent from the Mac App Store

Apple released the Mac App Store (MAS) back in January of 2011. Jobs and Co. rolled it  in the update to Mac OS X 10.6.6 and it wasn’t long before companies were clamoring to release their software on the new platform.

Apple's Mac App Store

There were some unfortunate hiccups with the new way of purchasing applications for the desktop Apple operating system. For instance, if you had already purchased a piece of software that is on the MAS, somewhere else, you will not get access to updates through this system. Even if you have a serial number from the purchase, you are kept out.

This is because Apple takes a cut of all purchases made through the MAS and have no real need to serve another storefront’s customers. Some developers worked around this by providing heavily discounted versions of their software initially to ease the cost of users transitioning to the new distribution service.

Of course there were some that not only didn’t offer this option, they even decided to stop supporting their applications’ updates unless they purchased them from the app store. Practices like this were quickly condemned by users for basically forcing them to pay twice for the same software.

I already posted about Apple’s great success on the MAS, check it out here. They manage to keep up around 50-90% of the top paid download on the MAS, out of the thousands of applications available there. On top of that, over 1,000,000 downloads of Mac OS X Lion went through the MAS within the first twenty-four hours!

A thought popped into my head today though. After pushing so hard to make the MAS a success, why hasn’t Apple put its most popular app into the MAS? The only way to get FinalCut Pro X or Mac OS X Lion is through the MAS and as of yesterday, Apple has begun to pull all boxed copies of their software from Apple stores.

Yet, for some reason, iTunes is not available on the MAS.

iTunes is Missing from the Mac App Store

Anyone dare to suggest why? I can’t think of a really solid reason for this. In fact, I’m surprised Apple hasn’t rolled out its developer portal to the MAS. Many developers* like me use the same Apple ID for both the MAS and our dev accounts.

Imagine how great this seamless integration could be for development teams.

60 thoughts on “Why is iTunes Absent from the Mac App Store

  1. @Dg01844 any theories as to why that is? Seems like it would be the first Apple app in the store for very obvious reasons.

  2. @Dg01844 any theories as to why that is? Seems like it would be the first Apple app in the store for very obvious reasons.

  3. @justex07 hasn’t it come preloaded on macs for awhile? Could be wrong

  4. @justex07 hasn’t it come preloaded on macs for awhile? Could be wrong

  5. @justex07 I wonder about the number updates and the relationship b/t MAS updating vs Software Update processes

  6. @justex07 I wonder about the number updates and the relationship b/t MAS updating vs Software Update processes

  7. @JamesMRobertson It is but when there is a new version, it would provide a better experience than going to the web.

  8. @JamesMRobertson It is but when there is a new version, it would provide a better experience than going to the web.

  9. @Dg01844 iTunes isn’t updated too often and relies on Software Update currently for dot updates. They already moved other updates to MAS too

  10. @Dg01844 iTunes isn’t updated too often and relies on Software Update currently for dot updates. They already moved other updates to MAS too

  11. @peyta but not app stores within the iOS app store, right? Violates Apple’s TOS.

  12. @peyta but not app stores within the iOS app store, right? Violates Apple’s TOS.

  13. iTunes is still supported for previous builds of Mac that do not have access to the app store (10.5) and also windows. I think at the moment it is just easier to keep distributing from a single location, rather than having an app store version and a direct download version.

    I could see it changing in the future though.

  14. iTunes is still supported for previous builds of Mac that do not have access to the app store (10.5) and also windows. I think at the moment it is just easier to keep distributing from a single location, rather than having an app store version and a direct download version.

    I could see it changing in the future though.

  15. @iryan Those are good points.

    I don’t suggest Apple abandon web distribution for Apple computers needing iTunes since anything before Snow Leopard doesn’t have a Mac App Store. But it seems to me that it would be smart for Apple to put the iTunes app, easily their most popular app, in the MAS with all the others. If they wanted to streamline the process later, then they could do so.

    But at least have it show up in a search for iTunes. Do it now and it says “Did you mean ‘itubes'” which is hilarious!

  16. @iryan Those are good points.

    I don’t suggest Apple abandon web distribution for Apple computers needing iTunes since anything before Snow Leopard doesn’t have a Mac App Store. But it seems to me that it would be smart for Apple to put the iTunes app, easily their most popular app, in the MAS with all the others. If they wanted to streamline the process later, then they could do so.

    But at least have it show up in a search for iTunes. Do it now and it says “Did you mean ‘itubes'” which is hilarious!

  17. @Dg01844 @justex07 If iTunes was in the MAS, people wouldn’t update it as often. Plus, deploying it over Lion Server would be difficult.

  18. @Dg01844 @justex07 If iTunes was in the MAS, people wouldn’t update it as often. Plus, deploying it over Lion Server would be difficult.

  19. @Dg01844 @justex07 Very. Now if the updates for MAS apps were in Software Update, then we wouldn’t have this debate

  20. @Dg01844 @justex07 Very. Now if the updates for MAS apps were in Software Update, then we wouldn’t have this debate

  21. @perrysalyer @justex07 so we’d expect 10.7 updates to originate in Software Update also??? Hmmm

  22. @perrysalyer @justex07 so we’d expect 10.7 updates to originate in Software Update also??? Hmmm

  23. @Dg01844 @justex07 one place to update everything sounds like a plan to me. it would just be even simpler.

  24. @Dg01844 @justex07 one place to update everything sounds like a plan to me. it would just be even simpler.

  25. @Dg01844 @justex07 Sounds good, but does MAS check for updates and download them in the background? Sadly, no.

  26. @Dg01844 @justex07 Sounds good, but does MAS check for updates and download them in the background? Sadly, no.

  27. @Dg01844 @justex07 exactly, if they did, I’d love it. Also, it seems slow on Lion than Snow Leopard.

  28. @Dg01844 @justex07 exactly, if they did, I’d love it. Also, it seems slow on Lion than Snow Leopard.

  29. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 I feel Software Update is going to be replaced with MAS Update since both feature software updates.

  30. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 I feel Software Update is going to be replaced with MAS Update since both feature software updates.

  31. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 at first everything was slower on Lion for me but things have sped up, since indexing has finished and things updated.

  32. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 at first everything was slower on Lion for me but things have sped up, since indexing has finished and things updated.

  33. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 however, I’m not used to my entire 8 GB of ram being used up, suppose it’s a good thing but startling at times!

  34. @perrysalyer @Dg01844 however, I’m not used to my entire 8 GB of ram being used up, suppose it’s a good thing but startling at times!

  35. @justex07 @perrysalyer Apple must want the Lion transition to be several months to a year underway prior to that iteration. Data center FTW!

  36. @justex07 @perrysalyer Apple must want the Lion transition to be several months to a year underway prior to that iteration. Data center FTW!

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