Every year, Apple takes pity on the poor App Store overseers who guard the gates of the company’s walled garden and gives them a few days around the holidays off from the crushing grind of manually approving new apps and updates. During this time, app store developers can’t submit app updates, price changes, or in-app purchases, and Newsstand publications will not be updated, even if a new issue is available.
When will this fallow period come this year? Exactly when you’d expect: Christmas week.
Apple has announced to developers that from December 21st to December 27, iTunes Connect — the portal through which App Store developers submit apps and updates — will be shut down:
iTunes Connect will be temporarily unavailable from Saturday, December 21, to Friday, December 27, 2013.
During that time, iTunes Connect will not be accessible and you will not be able to submit any apps or In-App Purchases. Processing of any Newsstand Atom feeds will be delayed until after December 27. Sales and Trends reports via the Autoingestion tool will be available but may also be delayed.
Also, 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. Similarly, apps scheduled to go live during that range will not be released until after December 27.
If you have any additional questions, use the Contact Us module on iTunes Connect.
If you’re an end user, you won’t notice anything except a derth of new apps or app updates during that period. If you were a dev intending on launching a new app Christmas week, though, tough noogies.