Apple Now Allowing Developers to Offer App Pre-Orders

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."

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.



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8 months ago
All new features are welcomed. However, I don’t see myself using this.
Rating: 10 Votes
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8 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.
Rating: 10 Votes
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8 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.
Rating: 8 Votes
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8 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.
Rating: 5 Votes
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8 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?
Rating: 5 Votes
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8 months ago

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?


But it's entirely common. Regardless of supply/demand, giving people the opportunity to purchase a product in advance seems fairly intuitive.

1 - If the product ends up being bad, well, you got their money. Not the nicest thing, but it's a reality. You see it a lot in movies, not screening movies for critics or releasing reviews (hi, Justice league) until you've started to collect real ticket purchases.
2 - Regardless of the product's quality, if a customer is looking at the product page, the option to preorder provides the opportunity to complete the transaction. When the product launches, they're charged and it shows on their device. Wishlisting is similar, but it requires a second impression a second chance for the customer to either ignore the reminder or have a second decision point of "do i want to spend my money on this"
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 months ago
This might work for my app. I have a lot of potential customers waiting for a new app, they already have an older app and I'm finding it hard to fund updates. If I could gauge the size of potential interest it would potentially also unlock investment money to fund an additional developer etc.

On my customers side, I know they are keen for the new app and this would solve the problem of remembering when the app is becoming available. In addition it takes away the uncertainty, there is a time limit, 90 days, this lights a deadline under the developer. There is also the possibility of running a promotion. If I'm going to have a low introductory price then the existing pre-orders would get that price and I could raise the price after I'd say sold 1000 at the introductory level. I could make the promotional price apply mostly to the pre-orders.
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 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
Rating: 2 Votes
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8 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.


I use it on a regular basis to purchase music from my favourite bands. I dont need to know the product I just want it as soon as it is released.
Rating: 1 Votes
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8 months ago

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?


I find it weird too.
It is an app, not a phone you need to pre order in order to have chances of getting it on day one. You can download a new app the minute is published on the store.
Rating: 1 Votes
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