Hackernoon logoMac Apps Trends in 2021: Useful Consumer Insights by@yaroslav

Mac Apps Trends in 2021: Useful Consumer Insights

The Mac Apps Trends Report 2021 is published by MacPaw.com. Users spent $36/year on Mac apps in the last 12 months. 57% said security is the most important factor when choosing a new Mac app. Users prefer one-time licenses for their apps. Price is the biggest reason to reject an app. Mac users prefer apps designed specifically for Mac platforms such as Apple’s M1 chip chip with M1C1C. Users also love it when an app was designed for Mac specifically.
Yaroslav Hacker Noon profile picture


PMM at MacPaw. Co-founder at Growth Marketing Stage & ConfidenceCONF.

To make a product that sells, you have to know what your potential customers actually want. And to successfully sell that product, the one you so diligently fitted to your customers’ needs, you need to know their priorities.

This is why we’ve conducted a survey to find out what apps Mac users like, why, and what they value most when making a decision to purchase an app. Let’s dive into the Mac Apps Trends Report 2021.

Key Takeaways

While you can read the full report by clicking the link at the bottom of this article, you might want to browse through these highlights of the most exciting findings. This will help you successfully navigate the wealth of information within the report and make sense of it very easily, but also assess if you need to spend time studying the full report or can maybe skip this one. Just like with our product Setapp, we are just trying to save the audience some time and make them more productive;)

1. Average Mac user utilizes 12 apps a day

While this may seem like a lot, note that our survey showed that the average number of installed apps is 31, so 12 is a little over a third of installed apps. This means if your app is suitable for frequent use, you might want to take that into account when developing or improving your product, as well as share that in your marketing materials.


2. On average, users spent $36/year on Mac apps

Our survey showed that users spent around $36 on Mac apps in the last 12 months. This is much lower than Sensor Tower data for iOS users as reported by TechCrunch. According to their assessment, US iPhone users spent an average of $138 on apps in 2020. The number is projected to increase to $180 in 2021.

3. One-time licenses are appealing

According to our findings, it looks like users prefer one-time licenses for their apps. 36% of respondents said they favor paying once and getting the app for indefinite use. Note that the majority did not have a preference at all (38%), so diversifying your payment options might be the most optimal way after all.


4. Mac app users care about security most of all

Our survey showed that most respondents prioritize the security of an app over anything else. 57% said security is the most important factor when choosing a new Mac app. Features, user experience, and privacy were also listed as some of the top priorities.


5. The main reason to buy a Mac app — it does what it says

An app’s purpose, i.e. it does what it says, was chosen by our respondents as their key reason to buy. 50% chose that option. The next most popular reason was the price that fits one’s budget, nothing surprising there. What you should pay attention to though is that availability of a free trial is important to 38% of the surveyed users, while online reviews are of note only for 14%. Even recommendations garnered a mere 24%.


6. Price is the biggest reason to reject an app

Well, that’s probably not much of a shocker, but still. Make sure you investigate the purchasing capacity of your target audience and are confident your asking price is not only fair with regards to your product, value, and production and maintenance costs, but also your customers’ budgets. If you charge too much and people just can’t afford it, it’s a purchase discourager for 42% of the people we surveyed.

By the way, 38% said that if there’s a free alternative for an app they’d likely decide not to buy. And to add to my previous point about highlighting how often your users can utilize the app, 38% of the surveyed said if they don’t plan to use an app regularly, they are less likely to purchase it.

7. Mac users prefer apps designed specifically for Mac

Another curious finding in our survey is that Mac users really love it when an app was designed for Mac specifically. My take is that not only initial app development should be targeted at Mac users, but you also need to update your product regularly, in time with any major macOS updates.


8. Apple Silicon

And finally, Apple Silicon. Our findings show that for more than 70% of users native support for Apple Silicon Macs is important or somewhat important. And since the market is going to be saturating more and more with M1 devices, it’s high time to update your app with M1 chip support.


Curious to study all the details yourself? Here’s the link to our full report.


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