Software usually has high gross margins. If it costs $100,000 to develop an app for the Mac, and only one is sold, there’s no profit. But if 100,000 copies are sold at $10 each, the gross margin can be considerable.
Some software is developed as a loss leader. Think of a Lite app that’s free, but missing some features in the full version which has a price tag.
Templates for Microsoft Office is a free package of 50 Word documents, Excel templates, and PowerPoint themes.
Not bad for free, right?
It’s not bait and switch. It’s a loss leader. The Templates for Microsoft Office package is free, but limited. The idea is to give you a value, so you’ll be more inclined or interested in looking at the Bundle for Microsoft Office which has over 500 Word documents, 75 Excel spreadsheets, and 50 PowerPoint themes.
As to whether or not either package is a value will depend on your usage. Templates for Word documents and Excel spreadsheets can save many hours of work to create customized files. Ditto for PowerPoint themes.
The same company has template packages for iWork’s modules, too. Templates for Numbers features 100 spreadsheet templates. Templates for Pages has 1,000 documents. The vastly more expensive Set for iWork has over 1,100 Pages documents, 100 Numbers spreadsheets, and 50 Keynote themes.
In fact, the company’s business seems dependent upon templates or documents or elements that work in other apps. There are Motion Backgrounds and Motion Themes for Keynote, and a stunning array of Themes for Aperture, Video Shorts, People Clipart, Themes for iBooks Author, as well as individual packages for Microsoft Office apps.
Also of note is the ratings by users on the Mac App Store. In nearly every case, reviews display a love hate relationship. Either four or five stars, or one star, not few in between (except for Bundle for Microsoft Office, which at $39.99 gets more one star reviews than all others put together).
I’ve used a few of these theme and template packages. In some cases, a template works perfectly right away. In other cases, an hour or two was spent trying to get it to look or work exactly as I needed, thereby diluting the value.
What’s very impressive is the sheer number of templates and themes available for various apps. For example, Mail Stationery has over 100 templates for Mail on your Mac.