Transferring iOS Apps: the Inside Scoop for Developers

You’ve successfully uploaded your app in the App Store, but what happens if you need to transfer it to a new iTunes account or decide to sell it? In 2013, Apple created an option to transfer apps effortlessly. iOS Developers now have the ability to transfer apps within the system without affecting the app’s availability on the App Store by using the iTunes Connect website. Below we’ll examine some of the new features offered, along with instructions on how to successfully transfer your app.

Ease of Transferiosproject

If you ever had to transfer an app before this update, you would have to tediously share codebase to the new owner in order for them to upload the app on their iTunes Connect account. This would also mean the discontinuation of the app on the older account. Users with the original app installed would then have to download the new app from the App Store, and pay for it again if it was a paid app. With Apple’s new transfer options, users don’t have to buy the app again nor face any discontinuity on receiving updates to the original app. We think this is a win-win for everyone.

How to Get Started

  • The current owner of the app needs to initiate a transfer.
  • The expected owner of the app needs to accept the transfer of app.
  • The transfer is a set of straightforward steps explained in detail on Apple’s developer site.


  1. Neither of the accounts should be in pending or changing state.
  2. The app cannot be using any of the technology listed:
    • iCloud entitlement
    • Passbook entitlement
    • In-App Purchase subscriptions, auto-renewable, free, or non-renewing
  3. The app should have at least one approved version and the current app version status can be one of the following:
    • Ready for Sale
    • Pending Contract
    • Prepare for Upload
    • Developer Removed from Sale
    • Invalid Binary
    • Developer Rejected
    • Rejected
  4. The In-App purchase can have one of the following status:
    • Approved
    • Ready to Submit
    • Developer Removed from Sale
    • Rejected
  5. The In-App purchase IDs should not coincide with any IDs on the recipient’s account.

During Transfer

The app transfer completion can take up to 2 business days. While the app is in transfer state:

  • All app metadata, rights, and pricing are locked down on the transferor side and no In-App Purchase edits can be made.
  • Any open communications in the Resolution Center are closed out.
  • If the app is part of a Game Center group, no changes can be made to the group on the recipient side.

After Transfer

  • The recipient now owns the app and the app will no longer appear among the transferor’s apps.
  • The associated App ID is transferred to the recipient’s member center. Wildcard App ID is converted to explicit App ID to match the bundle identifier of the app.
  • SSL certificates for APNS need to be recreated on recipient’s account.

Continuing Development…After the Transfer

  • The recipient has to have a copy of the codebase of the previously uploaded app or has to build it from scratch.
  • The provisioning profiles need to be recreated on the recipient’s account for development and distribution, which are associated with their developer and distribution certificates respectively.
  • The app will now be available for ad-hoc installation only on devices that are listed in the provisioning profile.

Our iOS mobile app developers are thrilled that Apple has made transferring iOS apps uncomplicated for developers. What do you think of Apple’s updates to transferring apps? Comment below!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *