October 27, 2015 Last Updated 8:01 am

Apple reportedly to add shopping category to App Store

The developer support pages say nothing about, neither does the press team, yet Fortune reports that Apple will be adding a new Shopping category to the App Store in time for the Christmas shopping season.

The shopping app channel will launch November 5, according to Fortune, and will move retail e-commerce apps from the Lifestyle category to the new one. If true, this continues Apple’s rather unfortunate habit of only talking to a few app partners before launching something new, leaving everyone else to figure out what is happening. Apple’s launch of Apple News is the more recent example of this, where only a handful of media partners are allowed access to the Apple News Format, while everyone else is left at the sidelines.

If the Shopping category is added it would be the 25th category for the App Store. But the store currently also has a Catalogs category, one created in the early days of the App Store when it looked as if this would be a frequently used category. It seems likely that any digital catalog that has e-commerce built into it would want to move to the new Shopping category.

In any case, licensed developers are currently being kept in the dark about Apple’s plans, maybe something will be mentioned today in the earnings statement or in the conference call to follow.

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