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App Store has size and price caps, opening with iPhone 3G

Developers submitting content to the App Store will have wide-ranging control over how their app is offered, but face a definitive limit for the size of their apps, AppleInsider has learned. The portal may also open its doors in sync with the launch of iPhone 3G.

People familiar with the matter say that apps uploaded to the Apple-run service via iTunes Connect have been given an absolute file size limit of 2GB that may prevent some developers from producing software with very large, integrated data sets. Apple doesn't say whether the limit is technical or for other reasons.

For most other functions, however, the iPhone maker is said by those aware of the submission interface to be offering a significant amount of control over how and where apps are delivered.

A web-based portal lets developers manage a large number of business and store presentation elements. It also lets these creators set the compatibility of the app with the iPod touch, the global regions where program should be distributed, and even game content ratings that roughly match American and European standards, warning parents of particularly sexual or violent content during play.

An App Store app for sale on the iTunes Store.

App Store game ratings
Apple's alleged rating system for games.

Choosing prices and regions
Controlling pricing and regions for apps.

Apple will refuse to sell games which would merit an "adult" rating, those knowledgeable of the company's policies say.

Importantly, pricing is described as a tiered system rather than an arbitrary price point chosen by the producer. Those who want to charge for apps can ask users to pay as little as 99 cents at the US store up to a maximum of $999.99; each tier moves the price up by increments from between $1 to $100 depending on the relative price difference.

Choosing prices and regions
The lower echelon of Apple's App Store pricing matrix.

Apple has often promoted free or low-cost apps, and during its Worldwide Developer Conference showcased a number of apps which will be priced at $10 or less; the tiers now suggest that professional-level apps will also be a possibility.

Choosing prices and regions
Developers upload applications via Application Loader 1.0.

When customers will have their own turn at the App Store isn't clear from the information Apple is sending out. The company has officially stated "early July." However, those familiar with the App Store submission process say a 'sell-on date' option included as part of the application submission process currently defaults to July 11th, the same day as the iPhone 3G first goes on sale. Others who've spoken directly to Apple about the launch date have also been told July 11th.