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Mac App Store not coming until January 2011 - report

A new report claims Apple's Mac App Store will launch in the new year, countering earlier rumors that the new store would arrive as early as Dec. 13.

According to Jim Dalrymple of The Loop, a December launch date for the Mac App Store for Snow Leopard is too early, though his sources have told him that Apple intends to meet its self-imposed 90-day deadline of late January. The news also corroborates what was told to AppleInsider in November.

The latest report contradicts rumors that emerged earlier this week that claimed Apple is "way ahead of schedule" and plans to launch the Mac App Store in time for Christmas.

Apple announced the Mac App Store at its "Back to the Mac" event in October. The new store is similar to the App Store for iOS, with developers receiving a 70 percent cut of sales and Apple keeping 30 percent. Apple CEO Steve Jobs was quick to reassure worried users that the Mac App Store will be only an option for developers and users, rather than a "walled garden" like iOS.

Following the announcement, Apple released review guidelines and an initial outline for developers on how to get their apps listed in the new store.

Last week, Apple issued notices to developers informing them that, unlike on iOS, trial versions of software will not be allowed on the Mac App Store.

"Your website is the best place to provide demos, trial versions, or betas of your software for customers to explore," Apple wrote. "The apps you submit to be reviewed for the Mac App Store should be fully functional, retail versions of your apps."

The initial betas of Mac OS X 10.6.6 appear to include support for the Mac App Store. Developers with the early build were reportedly told that the Snow Leopard update "contains developer support for fetching and renewing App Store receipts."

Dalrymple has a reliable track record with his sources. In October, Dalrymple claimed that Apple had developed a 7-inch iPad in its internal labs, but decided not to release it.

"The iPad is one of the best selling devices in history," Dalrymple said. "Why would Apple need to release a smaller version to compete in a market it owns. It doesn't."

Several weeks later, comments from Jobs about 7-inch tablets and extensive touchscreen interface research performed by Apple appeared to support Dalrymple's claim that Apple had worked on a 7-inch iPad but decided not to release it.