Apple's planning to make its app store available in more countries, pledging that developers will be able to sell their programs for the iPhone and iPad in 177 countries or regions by the end of the year.
The announcement came Monday in part because Apple said developers need to fill out administrative forms on its site to price and mark their apps as available in the new countries by April 10 to be ready when the app store becomes available.
"Thanks to the creativity and innovation of developers like you, the App Store has become much more than the world's safest marketplace. It's grown into a vibrant platform with great apps that influence culture and change lives, with over half a billion visitors each week," Apple said.
Apple's app store is considered a key feature of its iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, giving its more than 1 billion active users access to . A key feature of the app store when it launched in 2008 was the promise that Apple vetted each program before making it available to users. Competitors, such as Google's Play Store, are less stringent, allowing people to download programs from other sites, a . In the past couple years, Apple's pointed to its security practices as a .
Apple didn't list the countries it's expanding its app store to in its announcement Monday, but 9to5Mac said the new countries will include Afghanistan, Iraq, Morocco and Rwanda.