mocoNews has confirmed that Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) plans to launch its much-anticipated App Store Thursday at 9 a.m. PST, as first reported by Forbes. Sources close to the matter tell us that Apple decided to roll out the App Store a day prior to the iPhone 3G launch to enable international customers access to the new store without having to wait for the device’s launch stateside. Apple has also given developers the OK to begin releasing news about their new iPhone applications so long as the details remain under embargo until 9 a.m. PST tomorrow. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Apple has a lot riding on the App Store because it is no longer relying on a cut of data revenues from each device the carriers bring on network. And the retail price has been cut in half to boot. The financial performance and popularity of the new content distribution model will determine whether Apple has more to gain by allowing subsidies and shunning the carriers when it comes to content distribution. Indeed, the company stands to make much more through applications sales if the store performs on par with expectations. The bar was set high right off the bat when Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers announced the $100 million iFund, which it plans to invest in companies developing for the device’s new software platform. Analysts have said the store could make up to $1 billion in 2009.