Apple to Offer Bulk App Store for Businesses

By Erin Harrison July 15, 2011

In an apparent effort to make it easier for businesses to buy off-the-shelf and custom apps that run on iOS, Apple this week announced it will roll out its App Store Volume Purchase Program (VPP).

The business VPP is modeled after Apple’s Volume Purchasing Program that was introduced in August 2010 for schools, allowing educational institutions to acquire apps by purchasing Volume Vouchers, fixed value cards offered in denominations of $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000, or $10,000 that be redeemed only by an authorized Program Manager or Program Facilitator. 

Similarly, Apple’s business VPP program allows users to provide apps to employees, making it simpler to “find, buy and distribute the apps your business needs,” according to Apple. The Volume Purchase Program, which is “coming soon” to U.S. businesses, also provides a way to purchase custom B2B apps built by third-party developers, Apple said.

To participate in the program, the Program Manager will set up and manage Program Facilitators using provided management tools. A Program Facilitator is anyone in an organization who will redeem Volume Vouchers, buy codes for apps, and then distribute the codes to end users.

According to Apple, every paid app in the App Store is available for businesses to buy in volume through the program website, however, only paid apps are available for volume purchasing. For each app purchased, the Program Manager will receive a redemption code to authorize the app download.

Apple didn’t specify a launch date for the VPP, but says it’s “coming soon.”

As Apple continues to attempt to attract more business customers, a recent study found that even with the advent of six new versions of Apple’s Mac OX X (as well as the release of Windows Vista and Windows 7) Windows XP usage is still going strong in its tenth year, according to a June 2011 TechZone360 report.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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