Up until now, Apple has limited promo codes on the App Store to app downloads and hasn’t allowed developers to offer codes for in-app purchases and Newsstand issues. However, as noted by 148apps, EA is currently offering promo codes that allow users of its Real Racing 3 iOS app to get an in-app purchase normally valued at $1.99.
While users aren’t forced to enter a promo code manually in the App Store, visiting an EA website sends users to the App Store and automatically redeems the code for the in-app content. iOS also prompts users that have not yet installed the free Real Racing 3 app to do so in order to claim the in-app purchase code.
Apple’s developer documentation for promo codes currently states “Promo codes don’t work for In-App Purchase products, including Newsstand issues,” but it has unofficially supported workarounds in the past that developers have used to offer free in-app content for promotions.
It’s also a possibility that Apple is allowing the in-app purchase codes through its App Store Code Program that offers developers the ability to run special promotions. Apple recently detailed the program in a TechTalk:
Apple uses the program to let developers offer, for example, more than the usual 100 promo codes per app version and EA has used the program for several promotions in the past.