Apple's app store not taking new apps or updates until after Christmas

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Hundreds of millions of iPhone users will have to wait to receive app updates until after Christmas.

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Apple announced its App Store Connect will not accept any new apps or updates until Dec. 27, giving the tech giant's employees a brief break during the holiday season. The shutdown comes roughly a week before New Year's and just after the company's "busiest season" winds to a close.

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The company released an announcement in November for developers to plan their app submissions or updates ahead of the expected downtime, which will occur Dec. 23 to Dec. 27.

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The company notified developers who use App Store Connect that any releases were to be scheduled, submitted and approved before Dec. 23. However, other App Store Connect and developer account features will be available, according to the announcement.

App Store Connect is a suite of web-based tools that are used for managing apps sold on the App Store for iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple Watch, Apple TV, and iMessage, according to Apple's website. Members of the Apple Developer Program use the App Store Connect, in part, to submit and manage apps.

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This comes just after the company, beset by falling iPhone sales, announced upcoming changes to its phone and computer software intended to highlight its increasing emphasis on digital services and to further position it as a fierce guardian of personal privacy.

The revisions previewed in June during a conference in San Jose, California, are part of Apple’s ongoing attempts to differentiate itself from other technology giants, many of whom offer free services in exchange for personal data such as whereabouts and personal interests, which in turn fuels the advertising that generates most of their revenue.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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