The Mac App Store, iTunes Store, and App Store have all been experiencing fairly serious connectivity issues over the past several hours. Many speculated this was a sign that OS X Lion was about to debut on the Mac App Store, despite plenty of evidence suggesting it won't hit until July 14 at the earliest. Now MacRumors has heard from developers that Apple intends to take iTunes Connect down for most of July 13 for "scheduled maintenance."
iTunes Connect will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Wednesday, July 13 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT.
During this time, iTunes Connect will still be available. However, pricing changes made between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. PDT will cause the app to become unavailable for purchase until maintenance is complete, at which point the app will become available at the new price. To avoid interruptions to the availability of your apps, do not make price changes during this time.
Lastly, customers may not be able to purchase apps in the Mexico, U.K., Australia, Switzerland, Japan or Norway storefronts during the scheduled maintenance.
If this really is "scheduled maintenance," it seems odd that we're just now hearing about it, only nine hours ahead of the downtime. There's no official link between this downtime and the issues Apple's online storefronts have been experiencing today, but the timing certainly doesn't appear to be coincidental.
This downtime will be an inconvenience to developers, just as today's intermittent App Store issues have inconvenienced potential buyers. None of this makes for a particularly inspiring prelude to the OS X Lion launch; Lion is around 4 GB in size, and with at least tens of thousands of downloads likely on the first day of availability, the Lion launch day is likely to be Apple's most bandwidth-intensive day ever. Here's hoping the company can get its affairs in order tomorrow.
Update: MacStories postulates that the maintenance could be to adjust prices internationally, which have grown disproportionally with international currency fluctuations. An interesting theory, and we'll update you when iTunes Connect is done with maintenance.