Apple refunding purchases of "prematurely" released GameStore app

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.

Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.