Apple is implementing a new feature that allows developers to offer pre-orders for unreleased apps, letting customers purchase popular apps ahead of their release date.

The pre-order feature is listed in a new iTunes Connect Resource and Help document, which was discovered this afternoon by MacStories. The document says that developers are able to "make new apps available for pre-order on all Apple platforms."

appstorepreorders

Customers can see your product page and order your app before it's released for download. Once your app is released, customers will be notified and your app will automatically download to their device. For paid apps, customers will be charged before download.

Apple outlines the specific steps developers will need to take to list an app for pre-order, which includes navigating to the Pricing and Availability section of iTunes Connect, choosing "make available for pre-order," and submitting an app for review.

To be made available for pre-order, an app must have a release date at least two days in the future, but no more than 90 days in the future. Pre-orders are available for both free and paid apps.

When an app is pre-ordered, on release date, it'll be automatically downloaded to a customers device. With paid apps, the purchase price will be charged when the app is released, not before.

As our sister site TouchArcade points out, there are already two apps available for purchase using the new pre-order feature. Both Gorogoa ($4.99) and Inside (Free) can be pre-ordered from the App Store ahead of a release coming later this week.

Apple today also announced the general availability of introductory pricing for subscriptions, allowing developers to charge less for the first few months of an auto-renewing subscription. This is a feature that was initially introduced in iOS 11.2.

Top Rated Comments

6803390 Avatar
42 months ago
All new features are welcomed. However, I don’t see myself using this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
zorinlynx Avatar
42 months ago
What the heck is the point of a pre-order for a product that has basically unlimited supply?

Pre-orders make sense for manufactured products because this way the company can get an idea of demand and use that to determine how much product to manufacture. But for apps, which are basically unlimited, it is completely pointless.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
42 months ago
As a customer, I don't see this as a positive. All I need to do is add an app to the wishlist.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Nermal Avatar
42 months ago
As a customer, I don't see this as a positive. All I need to do is add an app to the wishlist.
Indeed. It actually seems a bit strange; wouldn't it be better to wait for some reviews to come in before dropping money on an app?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
appleguy123 Avatar
42 months ago
Pre-orders with no easy refund process in the US. Not very customer friendly. Can’t even look at reviews to determine if an app is trash if it’s a preorder.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
lsutigerfan1976 Avatar
42 months ago
This is going to sound like a dumb question. But why? Does a consumer worry that these apps will be sold out? lol
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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