Apple has now given developers the ability to offer their apps for pre-order through the App Store. As noted by MacStories, Apple tested the feature with Super Mario Run last year by offering pre-orders of the app ahead of its availability date.
Starting today, the feature will be available for all App Store developers. When submitting their apps, developers can set a download release date that’s two to 90 days in the future. Customers will then be notified once the app is released which will then be automatically downloaded on to their device.
You can now make your new apps available for pre-order on the App Store on all Apple Platforms. Customers can see your product page and order your app before it’s released for download. Once your app is released, customers will be notified and it will automatically download to their device. Let your customers know your app is coming by using the pre-order badges in your marketing materials.
Customers won't be charged until the app is released. If the price of the app changes during the pre-order, the customer will be charged whichever is lower; the price at the time of pre-order, or the price at the time of release. Customers also get the ability to cancel the pre-order if they wish.
Pre-orders can be made from devices running iOS 11.2, tvOS 11.2, and macOS 10.13.2 or later. Users on older operating systems will be prompted to update to the latest version to make use of the feature.