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[Updated] Rumor: App Store Changes Locked Down Thanksgiving and Christmas Weeks This Year

Update: Apple has sent out an email to published developers letting them know that the iTunes Connect will be shut down December 23-28 with no mention of Thanksgiving. This is good news for most developers and it contradicts the rumor that was the basis for this story. During the shutdown, developers will not be able to make any additions or changes to their published apps.

Apple also specifically noted that if you set the release date of your app or update to a date during the shutdown, your app will not go live until iTunes Connect has returned.

iTunes Connect access will return on December 29th.

[Update via MacRumors]

Heard through the grapevine that in addition to the now traditional lock down of the App Store during the week of Christmas, this year we’ll see an additional lock down the week of Thanksgiving. These are traditionally very busy weeks for the App Store. And this lockdown presents some interesting challenges to app marketing.

This means that developers will be locked out of iTunes Connect and will not be able to make any changes to their applications during these two weeks. Traditionally two weeks where developers quickly dropped the prices of their apps to grab as many new users as possible. That will be more difficult this year.

The interesting thing is that the top app lists all freeze as well. So that means whoever is in number 1 when the lock down starts stays there. A new change this year is that developers can schedule price changes for some point in the future. Until we hear the official word from Apple on these lockdowns, we won’t know if these scheduled price changes will work during these weeks or if prices are locked down as well.

Plan your marketing appropriately. Make sure you app is live before the lock down. And set your focus to be as high up in the charts as possible when the app store locks down, not on Christmas day.

Jeff Scott
I am the founder and publisher of 148Apps, the best iPhone app news and reviews site this side of Mars. I've been a web developer for nearly 15 years now. I'm also a stats geek, and I think that the iPhone is the best invention since the wheel!
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  • dev

    Why would the top charts be fixed? Isn’t it all automated? I believe you, but I don’t understand the rationale behind this at all except “Let’s give the big companies still more time to rake in the cash”… As if AB wasn’t already stuck at the top, now it needs to *literally* be fixed there?

    • 148Apps

      I don’t know why — but it’s what has happened the last two years.

      One theory is that Apple moves all servers dedicated to updates and processing top lists to be front end servers to serve users and process orders. Just one theory.


  • Guillermo | Social Media apps

    Thanks for this information.
    The problem is that the App Store is reacting slowly to everything right now. Even if you submit an upgrade one week or two before Christmas, it might be approved in January.

  • Jem477

    This is great information.
    Is there any source that can provide app distribution by device (eg app downloads by 3g, 3gs, 4)?
    Jan M

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  • The SEO Expert

    Everyone needs a break eh!

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    You know why Apple does this right?  They want to give as much legitimacy as possible to their app store, so it makes sense not to let newbies just trying to get in on the xmas rush undercut well-selling apps.

  • jsherk

    Is it confirmed that the RANKINGS get locked in as well?

    You would not want to spend any money on marketing during that period then!