Apple refunding purchases of "prematurely" released GameStore app

Apple refunding purchases of

Apple is sending out refund notices to iPhone users who purchased GameStore, the bizarre Apple app that briefly appeared in the App Store over the weekend.

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.

While GameStore showed a release date of Dec. 31, 2011 in iTunes deskstop, the on-device App Store showed a date of June 9, 2009, which suggested it might have been a beta app used to test the iOS 3 in-app purchases feature.

The refund language, however, clearly says "premature", which would suggest it will be properly released at a later date.

Whether or not that's accurate, whether or not a new app with the same name but more current functionality, or whether there's a different explanation remains unknown.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Apple refunding purchases of "prematurely" released GameStore app