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MOBILE APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT · HUGH KIMURA · DECEMBER 2013

How To Transfer Ownership Of Your iOS App To Another Developer

Selling your iOS app used to be a complicated process, but Apple has now made it easy to transfer an app to another developer. Learn how to do it in this post.

There are a few reasons why you may want to transfer ownership of your app to another developer, but it is usually because you have sold it. If you have not sold your app yet, be sure to read our posts on how to boost the value of your app before a sale and how to sell your app. This process may also be of interest to you if you are looking to purchase an app.

In this post, we will go through the steps involved in transferring your app to another developer. Surprisingly, this process was not available until this year, but it is now a simple process. There are some cases where an app still cannot be transferred and we will go over those cases too.

Transfer Ownership

To transfer an app, just go into your Developer Account and on the App Summary page, click on the Transfer App button. Only the team agent can initiate this process.

The next screen will verify that you meet all the criteria for transfer. If your app meets all the criteria, you will see all green check marks.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0084-criteria.jpg

Next, enter the recipient information, then agree to the contract information and terms. If your recipient does not know their Team ID, they can find it in the Member Center. After you click on the Request Transfer button, the app will go into Pending App Transfer status.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0084-status.jpg

The recipient will now see a pending App Transfer Request and can begin the process the next time that they log into their iTunes Connect account. The Transfer Request is good for 60 days, after which time it is automatically cancelled, if it is not accepted.

https://s3.amazonaws.com/sensortower-itunes/blog/0084-transfer-pending.jpg

Once the transfer is accepted, the actual process will take up to 2 business days to complete. After the transfer is complete, you will no longer see the app in your account.

The Catches

Even though this process is very simple, there is some bad news. Some apps still cannot be transferred. Most of the reasons that an app cannot be transferred are fairly straightforward, but the ones that might catch you off guard are if your app:

  • Uses an iCloud entitlement

  • Uses a Passbook entitlement

  • Has or has ever had any approved auto-renewable, free or non-renewing subscription In-App Purchases. Even if you deleted the subscriptions, you are still not eligible.

Also keep in mind that you can only transfer one app at a time. The source code and the binary are not transferred in this process, so you will have to arrange that with the recipient separately.

Conclusion

You may have been reluctant to sell or purchase an app in the past because maybe you felt that it was too complicated or maybe not even possible. But if your app meets the criteria, Apple makes it easy to transfer an app with just a few clicks.

Be sure to check on any other requirements that may be specific to your app. This tutorial will apply to most apps, but you may have a slightly different situation.

To see the complete Apple documentation, refer to this page in the Developer Guide.

What do you think of the Apple app transfer process?


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Hugh Kimura

Written by: Hugh Kimura, Head of Content

Date: December 2013

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