On March 22, ICANN announced the first 27 applications for new gTLDs that passed Initial Evaluation.
The 27 applications that passed and that do not face any objections or string contentions will be able to proceed to the contracting phase. These applicants can execute their contract with ICANN "as early as 23 April 2013".
ICANN is planning on releasing Initial Evaluation results each week, 30 strings at a time, and the organization is hoping to increase the release to 100 strings per week. The status of the three applications that would have rounded out the first 30 – application 7, 18, and 29 in terms of priority rank – is still unknown for "one or more possible reasons", according to ICANN., and the reasons could range from "pending change requests, clarifying questions, or follow-up with applicants regarding missing information."
ICANN's current plan is to have all Initial Evaluations results posted by the end of August 2013.