Apple wants its developers to take much-needed time off during the Christmas holiday week, which is why starting tomorrow, Apple will freeze its iOS and Mac App Stores by shutting down iTunes Connect for a week. (Don't worry, Apple does this every year, you just may not have noticed.)
iTunes Connect is the hub where Apple developers can submit their applications for approval into the App Store, as well as update or make changes in their existing apps. Until Apple re-opens the portal on Friday, Dec. 28, developers won't be able to add new apps to the store, or update their current apps with software or pricing changes.
Apple sent reminders and instructions to its developers on Thursday.
"We strongly recommend that you do not schedule any pricing changes in iTunes Connect that would take effect between Friday, December 21, 2012 and Friday, December 28, 2012," Apple wrote. "Pricing changes scheduled to take effect during this date range will not be reflected on the App Store and your app or In-App Purchase will become unavailable for purchase until after the shutdown. We also recommend that you do not schedule any apps to go live during the shutdown. Releases scheduled with a start date between Friday, December 21, 2012 and Friday, December 28, 2012 will not go live on the App Store until after the shutdown."
Since the App Store will be effectively frozen for a week starting tomorrow, many developers are offering discounts on their app to try to rack up downloads and App Store Chart notoriety during the Christmas period, which is one of the most lucrative times of the year for developers.
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Apple released email ads for its Mac App Store on Thursday, which advertised discounts of up to 73 percent on the platform's bestselling games, including Braid and Lego Batman 2: DC Superheroes. Apple is also marketing its Best of 2012 in apps, movies and music, with several of those titles receiving minor discounts via the iOS App Store.
At WWDC 2012, Apple announced that Apple had recently celebrated the 30 billionth app download from its store. The iOS App Store offers more than 650,000 apps, with over 225,000 of those apps specifically designed for iPad.