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A few days ago, a mysterious app appeared in the iOS App Store. Its name was GameStore, it cost $0.99, and it appeared to be an official Apple release. All iOS users know about Game Center, but this was something new which allowed users to download some in-app purchases for racing-themed games. The only description on the app’s iTunes page was “This application allows you to buy different things from within the app.”
Following its discovery on some tech blogs, Apple pulled the app off the market, but did not deny that it was indeed an official Apple release. The weird thing is that the app did not really contain much of anything, and seems to have only been sample code which was prematurely released by mistake.
Sounds embarrassing? It probably is for Apple, who are now issuing a refund for anyone who has purchased the app. A customer service e-mail which was posted on MacRumors reads as follows:
You recently purchase the GameStore app. The app was made available for sale prematurely. We apologize for the problem and have refunded the purchase amount back to your account. These funds will be applied to your original payment method within 5 business days.
iTunes Store Customer Support
While the e-mail seems a little weird (notice the typo in the first sentence), Apple has confirmed to CNet that the e-mail is indeed genuine and that they are issuing this refund. All in all, seems like a mistake on Apple’s side which they are correcting by a global refund – something which may provide a precedent for similar things in the future.