Developers can now offer App Store pre-orders 180 days ahead of release

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Apple on Thursday announced a change to App Store policy that allows developers to offer app pre-orders up to 180 days ahead of public launch.

Announced in a post to Apple's developer website, the change gives developers more time to advertise and collect pre-order metrics ahead of wide release.

"Take advantage of this longer lead time to build more excitement for your app's features, services, and content, and to encourage more pre-orders," Apple says.

As is standard on the App Store, customers who pre-order an app will see it automatically download on their target device. A notification on launch day lets users know that the download will occur within 24 hours.

Apple first enabled app pre-orders for developers in late 2017, marking a major shift in how the store operates. Prior to wide availability, the feature was limited to big titles like Nintendo's 2016 release of Super Mario Run.

The policy change grants developers an additional marketing window and provides key insight into pre-release interest. For example, app makers can track the number of ordered, canceled, and net pre-orders in App Store Connect.

Setting up app pre-orders is a straightforward process accessed through the App Store Connect homepage. Developers interested in taking advantage of the feature submit their new app for review and choose a release date between two and 180 days in the future. If and when the app is approved, it can be published on the App Store with a special pre-order badge.


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