Apple Mac App Store Officially Opens Today

The digital doors of Apple’s new Mac App Store will reportedly open Thursday at 12 p.m. Eastern, 9 a.m. Pacific.

The long-awaited app store for users of Mac OS X Snow Leopard was first unveiled in October at Apple’s “Back to Mac” event. At that time, Apple CEO Steve Jobs promised the forthcoming digital download destination for Mac apps would open within ninety days.

The Mac App Store, which will exist as a Mac OS X counterpart to the longstanding iOS App Store for Apple’s popular line of mobile devices including the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, will deliver a one-click download and install feature for applications optimized for and tailored to Macs.

For weeks, developers have been encouraged to create and submit their applications for inclusion to the Mac App Store. For the new venture, Apple will similarly pay developers 70% of the app sale proceeds, while retaining a 30% cut.

For Apple, the new Mac App Store is all about discovery as great attention has been given to simplify the processes by which users find and download desirable apps pertinent to their interests. As expected, Mac users will be able to browse new and noteworthy apps, search out what’s hot, view staff favorites, peruse categories and read customer ratings and reviews.

While there is much excitement within the Apple community Thursday surrounding the imminent launch of the new Mac App Store, ZDNet’s David Gerwitz says concerns now linger about what the new digital download destination will mean for developers of Mac software as they get challenged by iOS developers on price points.

“Games priced at $20-60 will be competing against games priced at 99 cents to $4.99,” Gerwitz writes. “In effect, game pricing will drop by 90-95% — on average — overnight.”