appstoreEvery year Apple shuts down iTunes Connect for about a week in late December, coinciding with the week of Christmas, in order to give their likely overworked App Store review team a break for the holidays. When iTunes Connect is shut down, it means developers will not be able to change prices of their apps or release brand new apps or updates, effectively putting the entire App Store on hold until the shutdown is over. This year, as noted by TUAW, Apple has emailed developers to let them know that this year's shutdown will begin on Saturday December 21st and will last until Friday December 27th.

One very important note in the email sent to developers is this: "…you should not schedule any pricing changes or apps to go live between those dates. Pricing changes scheduled to take effect in that date range will cause the app to become unavailable for purchase until after December 27." That means that if you have a brain fart and try to adjust your price during that period, your app will not even be for sale. The holiday season is the biggest time for app downloads as folks all over the world get iOS devices as gifts and immediately head to the App Store to see what kind of cool things they can get for their new toy. Don't be "that guy/gal" that can't sell an eager new customer your product because you were fiddling around with it during the shutdown period.

As for us here at TouchArcade, the shutdown week pretty much grinds all news and activity to a halt, so you can expect us to unload a ton of end-of-the-year type coverage during that week. Also, for what it's worth, the few weeks following the iTunes shutdown are typically the slowest times of the whole year, so if you're shooting for your new game to release before Christmas but don't think you'll make it, releasing during that dead time isn't always the end of the world as we'll be actively looking for cool things to talk about during those slow weeks that follow. Something to think about.

[TUAW]

  • otakuzod

    I never knew there was an official policy. A whole lot of things make sense now.

  • ikari_paul

    would be a great time to sneak some emulators into the app store ;-)

    theyd be up till january :D

    • Kane

      Updated Gridlee with MFI controller support.. Life is complete.

  • dribblejam

    When is TA going to update the app for ios 7? I need a new icon!:)

    • marc0313

      YES. ^THIS.

    • dariusjr98

      I'm okay with that as long as it doesn't require iOS 7.

    • xzeldax3

      Ugh, please don't. I really don't want all the menus to be blinding white.

  • Living Legend

    Ohh. Is this why my updates and everything was all jacked-up on Christmas last year?

  • ODMay

    Ima feel bad for iOS noobs.

  • repapermunky

    I hate when it's that time of the year, and I continuously open TA to see what's new, only to realize there's nothing exciting going on.

  • madreviewer

    ...

  • rewindx

    I feel as if the break should end a day earlier, or at least they should get some crew of those who don't celebrate Christmas to work. People get iTunes gift cards and iDevices on or around Christmas, and Apple should be taking advantage of this big spending time.

    Although I'm glad that Apple does give them a nice break though. They deserve it.

    • rednekzomby

      You do realize the store doesn't close and purchases can still be made? Its just a blackout for new arrivals and modifications. EA and Gameloft are some of the companies that will exploit this blackout by having a fire sale the week before and thus locking up the top of the charts for the whole week.

  • anabolicMike

    Lazy. In Mother Russia the apps review themselves!

    • dariusjr98

      *In Soviet Russia, apps review you.

      Wanna try again?