July 16, 2011

Apple Unveils Bulk App Buying Program For Businesses

Apple has announced a new program that will allow businesses to buy iOS applications in bulk and purchase custom-made business-to-business software.

The "Volume Purchase Program for Business", as it has been dubbed, will be released soon to companies in the United States, and the company states that every paid application currently involved in their App Store will be available for bulk purchases.

"Whether you're providing apps to two employees or ten thousand, the Volume Purchase Program makes it simple to find, buy, and distribute the apps your business needs," the company said in a statement published on their official website. "Simply search for the apps you need, enter the quantity you want to buy, and complete the transaction with your corporate credit card."

Apple's statement reports that the apps will be available, through the program website, at the purchase price listed for individual consumers in the App Store, and according to a TechCrunch.com article posted to the Washington Post website on Friday, it is "not clear if you can get bulk discounts yet but Apple then gives you a license for each device."

"Custom B2B apps are built just for you by third-party developers and business partners to address a specific business process, integrate with a unique back-office environment, or deliver a custom interface for your users," the iPhone and iPad manufacturers said, adding that "any business in the US" is eligible to participate and that members of the iOS Developer program will be able to create these B2B apps and make them available for sale to customers enrolled in the Volume Purchase Program.

A business that purchases apps using the program will receive redemption codes for each one, which they can then distribute through email, through an internal website, or by using "third-party Mobile Device Management (MDM) solutions to manage redemption codes centrally." To enroll, companies will need to provide basic contact information, a D-U-N-S number, and either a corporate credit card or PCard to pay for the purchased software.

According to Leslie Horn of PCMag.com, the Volume Purchase Program "is an extension of Apple's existing program that lets educational institutions make bulk App Store purchases."

"This is actually quite interesting, if you think about it," TechCrunch.com added. "Volume pricing suggests volume deployment of iOS in the enterprise. While I'm sure no one is going to pick up 500 copies of Angry Birds, I wouldn't be surprised if something like Pages becomes the de-rigeur mobile app in some circles for document editing on the go."


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