Apple Seems Headed for Digital Distribution

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Will boxed software become a quaint antique like CDs and rotary phones?

Apple stores are eliminating boxed software as Apple moves to digital distribution, according to MacRumors. The rumor isn't totally from left field, especially since Apple opened the Mac App Store in January with a big emphasis on discounted downloads.

Downloads mean lower costs in packaging, stocking, inventory and -- in the end -- less square footage for a storefront. In fact, if a customer heads into an Apple store, it could mean a retail clerk will lead that customer to a computer to set up an iTunes account and give him or her a quick tutorial of the Mac App Store. So why do we need a physical storefront again?

MacRumors suggests that it's to sell the higher-profit iPads and iPhone accessories, but I know several people who would buy the new iPad 2 and iPhone 5 online, sight unseen. In the end, Apple may see that it makes less sense to pay for employees and stores when more and more people are comfortable buying online.

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