Inspired by this flowchart of the iOS 4 UIApplication Delegate I thought I would have a go at Omigraffling myself a chart of the iTunes Connect application status during the submission process. A pdf version is also available for download should you want a larger version. Descriptions are based on my understanding/experience, all corrections are of course welcome.
The blue boxes indicate actions required by the submitter where as the yellow boxes are actions performed by the App Store. Red boxes are bad news….
The process kicks off with the creation of a new app or a new version of an existing app. Once all of the metadata has been entered and you select the ready to submit binary button the status moves from Prepare For Upload to Waiting For Upload. After uploading the binary you should then see the status change to Upload Received - I have seen this take an hour or two following the binary upload.
I have never had it happen to me but I believe at this point you can get a reject for either an Invalid binary or a Missing Screenshot (in the case that you uploaded a binary for a Universal app but forgot to include both iPhone and iPad images in the app metadata).
If all goes well the status should then within a few hours change to Waiting For Review. Apple say that if this does not happen within 24 hours you should contact iTunes Connect Support.
Once you get past the upload process you end up in the queue Waiting For Review and usually with a day or two you end up actually In Review. The length of the review process depends on your app but if things are going smoothly this stage usually lasts 3-4 days (not counting weekends). At the end of the review process you will be notified with the good or bad news.
During this phase you can as the developer decide to abort the process by rejecting the binary. You can do this even if Apple has started to review the app. Of course if you do this you will need to upload a new binary and go through the whole process again from the start.
Waiting to Go Live
After getting the good news that your app was accepted there are still a few things that can delay it from reaching the App Store. If you still have to complete iTunes contract or export compliance details this will be reflected in the app status. The final reason (Pending Developer Release) is fairly new and allows the developer to determine when the app will go live instead of it automatically going live following approval.
Once all approvals and prerequisites have been met the App should quickly go through the Processing For App Store state and then finally reach Ready For Sale where it will start to appear in the App Stores. Apple always puts a disclaimer on this process indicating that it can take up to 24 hours to propagate to all the stores. Once the app is on sale there are two possibilities for it to be removed from sale. The developer can decide to remove it from sale or Apple can find a problem with the App and kick it out of the App Store for you.