New apps on all Apple platforms can be made available for pre-order when you submit your app and metadata for review in App Store Connect. When you opt in, you’ll choose a download release date that’s two to 180 days in the future. Once your app is released for download, customers are notified and it will automatically download to their device within 24 hours.
New apps that have never been published on the App Store are eligible for pre-order. Apps currently on the App Store that you’d like to offer in additional countries or regions, or as a new universal purchase (for example, a new tvOS app that’s added to the app record of an existing iOS app) are not eligible.
When your app becomes available for pre-order, a limited version of your product page, which includes your expected release date, is published on the App Store. For iOS apps offering in-app purchases, promoted in-app purchases will not be shown during pre-order. Plan to have your promoted in-app purchases set up and approved so that they are ready when your app is released for download.
Customers can pre-order your app from your product page, search results, and the Today, Games, or Apps tabs if your app is featured.
On launch day, your app automatically downloads to the device on which the customer requested the pre-order, and to their other devices that have automatic downloads enabled. Customers will also receive a notification letting them know the app is available.
Customers who pre-order a paid app won’t be charged until the day the app is released for download. If the price of your app changes during pre-order, they will be charged the price that is lower: the price they accepted at pre-order or the price on the day of release.
Customers can cancel their pre-orders in their App Store settings on iOS and macOS, and in their iTunes settings on desktop for iOS, macOS, and tvOS apps.
Pre-orders can be made on devices running iOS 11.2, iPadOS 13, tvOS 11.2, macOS 10.13.2, and watchOS 6 or later. Product pages during pre-order are accessible for customers on earlier operating systems through direct links. However, the buy button is disabled and customers are prompted to update to the latest OS version to pre-order apps.
You can track the performance of your app pre-orders in Sales and Trends, where you’ll find the number of ordered, canceled, and net pre-orders.
Marketing Your Apps
Use your marketing channels, such as your website, mailing list, and social media accounts, to encourage your audience to visit the App Store and pre-order your app. Include a clear call-to-action — for example, Pre-order on the App Store — and provide a direct link to your product page.
While your product page shows an expected release date, if there’s a chance that this date will shift, we recommend against communicating a specific date in your marketing. Keep in mind that customers who pre-order your app are not notified by Apple of date changes or pre-order removals from the App Store, so you’ll need to create any necessary communications.
On launch day, update all of your marketing materials and App Store badges to communicate that your app is now available to download on the App Store.
The preorder_date receipt field helps you identify customers who pre-ordered your app. You can use this information to unlock rewards — such as additional coins in a game — for pre-order customers or display in-app messaging to thank them for their purchase.
You can use the App Store badge for pre-orders in your marketing materials to let customers know that your app is available for pre-order.