Apple's '12 Days of Gifts' app arrives in US

The '12 Days of Gifts' is a free, downloadable app for the Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod. 

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    People walk past an Apple store during Black Friday in San Francisco, Calif., on Nov. 29, 2013.
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For the first time, Apple will launch its annual "12 Days of Gifts" iOS app in the US. 

The app, which is downloadable now in the iTunes Store, was previously available only to European and Canadian consumers. It's unclear what exactly prompted the change – in the past, according to Mac Rumors, "licensing restrictions" prevented the promotion from being run in American markets. 

12 Days of Gifts is a pretty straightforward piece of software: Once it's downloaded to your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch, it'll dish you out a range of goodies, at a rate of one a day. Apple is staying mum on exactly what those gifts will consist of, but past offerings have included MP3 files, video games, and television shows such as How I Met Your Mother and the BBC crime drama Sherlock. 

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In addition, the app will ping when each gift is ready to be picked up. On our wish list? The entire second season of Homeland and Assassin's Creed Pirates, a new Ubisoft game – and companion to the console best-seller Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag – that typically costs five bucks. (Hey, it doesn't hurt to ask, though maybe we'll get stuck with a few digitized lumps of coal.) 

In related news, Apple – and particularly the Apple iPad and iPhone – has racked up some impressive sales numbers in recent weeks. In fact, at least one analyst, Cantor Fitzgerald's Brian White, is calling November one of Apple's best months in history. 

"With approximately 97 percent of the sales now accounted for in our Apple Barometer, we estimate sales in November rose by approximately 19-20 percent month-over-month, and well above the November average of up 6 percent over the past eight years," Mr. White wrote in a research note to investors obtained by VentureBeat. "As such, we believe this November will prove to be the strongest in the history of our Apple Barometer." 

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