Update to Apple Store app will offer free iTunes, App Store content -- report

New version of Apple Store app for iPhone and iPod Touch, to be released July 23, will promote Apple's content apps, with some content offered free for a limited time, according to a report.

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Apple is set to release an updated version of its Apple Store app for the iPhone and iPod Touch on Tuesday that will promote content from the App Store, the iTunes Store, and the iBookstore, with some of it free for a limited time, a report says.

Blog 9to5 Mac cites an unnamed source in reporting that the new app has been tweaked to be more in keeping with the interfaces of the iOS 6 versions of the three aforementioned content apps and to promote those apps. It's also, of course, meant to juice direct-from-Apple sales of the iPhone and other hardware.

Among other things, the Apple Store app lets customers buy products from the app and either pick them up at an Apple Store or have them shipped.

Sources tell the blog that the app makeover is also part of a new initiative at Apple's brick-and-mortar outlets: "When a new iOS device is sold, Apple employees will be encouraged to install the new Apple Store app on the newly purchased device" as a way of increasing the number of Apple customers who are aware of the Apple Store app, 9to5 Mac reports. The blog says only about 20 percent of customers know about the app at this point.

We've asked Apple to comment on the report and will update this piece if we hear back.