Apple Introduces Volume App Purchasing for Business and B2B Apps


Alongside today's international App Store pricing changes, Apple has introduced a new Volume Purchase program for the App Store. According to Apple, the App Store Volume Purchase Program allows businesses and educational institutions in the U.S. to purchase apps in volume and distribute them within their organizations.

Streamline your purchasing process and put more power and productivity in the hands of your workforce. Every paid app in the App Store is available for businesses to buy in volume through the program website. Simply search for the apps you need, enter the quantity you want to buy, and complete the transaction with your corporate credit card. Apps are available for purchase at the same price listed in the App Store.

Apple had previously offered volume sales for educational institutions and is extending this to businesses. Business and Educational institutions will need to enroll in the program in order to participate.

Separately, Apple is also allowing businesses to sell and distribute custom business-to-business (B2B) apps for business customers. These custom B2B apps can be developed for specific needs and distributed to businesses through the same App Store mechanism. This allows third-party developers to produce custom deployments of apps specifically designed for clients that are using iOS devices.

Update: Apple's webpage for App Store Volume purchasing is now live and provides addition information and says it's "Coming Soon":

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 Volume Purchase Program also provides a way to purchase custom B2B apps built by third-party developers to meet the unique needs of your business.

The Volume Purchase Program for Business is coming soon to businesses in the United States.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
121 months ago
This is not new. Apple created a volume purchasing program for education months ago. Purchasing the apps is only half the problem. The bigger part, especially for state schools who spend tax payer money is who ends up owning the license.

When you buy a bulk package of apps what you get is a list of vouchers you send to which ever users/employees you want. They use a normal unmanaged consumer iTunes/app store account to redeem the app and then it belongs to them. When they quite or get fired the university has to buy the app or distribute another voucher for the replacement employee while the exiting employee keeps all the applications the company or school paid for.

I'm a fan boy and will defend and praise apple for a lot of stuff. But that they haven't even acknowledged this problem is really disappointing and frustrating.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
I'd like to see a master account that could reclaim an app distributed with a voucher. That way the school or business doesn't have to buy apps for specific employees but instead for positions and/or functions. When the master account reclaims an app then it should automatically be removed from the device or computer. In the case of the OS the computer should become locked to all logins except when authorized with the master account's appleid.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago

MacRumors seems to consistently rush stories out without even a cursory check for typos. Seldom is there an imperative to release information so quickly that checking and editing it first is unwarranted.


I'm willing to accept a "rough" first draft posted at the time news breaks with a follow up edit for clarity. This is the internet, not a novel.

--

On the news story itself, the second part of the post unveils the custom B2B program with lets developers have custom versions of Apps for large customers. In addition to corporate branding/logos, you might even see custom functionality per customer. This is also very big news -- and very different than the approach other players in the space have taken.

Apple continues to push the envelope in the App Store space. I see a lot of potential for custom spins of business apps sold in volume.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago

They already allow you to install an unlimited number of copies on "all of your Macs" with an AppleID, so if you have like 100 Macs, you can install the apps on all of your computers with one app purchase (already this is the rule). So I don't see the point of this. Apple just wants your money (if you fall for this trap)


This is for businesses, and education. Those two entities cannot do what you are suggesting.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago

Apple is well beyond capable of doing things that are not easy. I don't think any lawyer or developer would describe the iTunes Match program as "easy". Also, I think the application developers would be much more agreeable to this type of thing. Businesses have become used to buying a piece of software that they control. When making the decision to dismiss an employee it has never entered my mind how much software we have invested in them, unless we get some more control over installation and ownership that is gonna become a factor in the process.

Granted most developers give you another avenue to purchase software from them. But what about Lion, Pages, Keynote, FCP, Motion, Aperture, and all of Apple's other great titles. It looks like Apple won't be sailing boxed copies soon. They don't need to create a license agreement with a third party to create that kind of functionality with there own titles. I'd be fine if there were an opt-in option for developers to participate. It'd be easy for us to lobby developers to opt-in.



With the exception of a handful apps everything we use is available in the public app store. Example: We have instructional designers who may move into administrative positions. It would be nice not to buy another copy of FCP for the new designer when someone gets promoted.

The biggest issue for us (State School) is that we are in line to spend large amounts of money on applications that will belong to the employee and not the State. We don't have a massive turnover problem but it's significant enough to create concern. As a taxpayer that is a real problem for me. Does the employee have to claim those purchases as part of the compensation package, do they need to pay income tax on the amount? Etc...

Like i said in an earlier post. We have lawyers looking into it, but i'd rather pay developers and Apple (i'm a share holder :)) than the lawyers.

I cannot disagree with your points, your motives and your business needs, but Apple has effectively taken the normal seat licensing that comes along with regular desktop software out of our hands on the mobile level, and now they are beginning to do the same on the desktop level.

On the desktop the employee leaves, the company/institution owns the machine it stays, and the software license remains with the company - as it should. But, nine times out of ten the clients we deal with don't own the phones, tablets or laptops of their employees - they just allow them to coexist in their infrastructure. This seems to be the case with the educational institution you work for.

There to me lies the problem and the only solution I see to that would be an addition to the volume purchasing program to revoke the application privileges for devices that are no longer members of the organization/company. As someone who does this for a living I can respect that as revocation on one device allows for the license to be used on a different device/new employee, but I do not believe Apple even has close to the infrastructure it would take to handle that for their regular business/education consumers who are not enterprise developers themselves/using their own internal applications. We are more than capable of doing this on an internal level with our application we create ourselves because we are able to manage their deployment ourselves. You're in a cumbersome position.

In terms of the general Mac App Store for desktop applications I can only give you my advice as someone who builds software for enterprises and that is stay away from it. It isn't tailored at all to the needs of businesses/education in terms of what is required for purchasing seats of software and you're always going to be better off going straight to the developer in terms of licensing. You are in effect making a license agreement with two parties at once upon purchase, Apple and the development company. Unless of course as in what you mentioned before (FCP) that's directly from Apple to begin with.

The Mac App Store is also one gigantic crapshoot at this time. If they push the issue too hard and slowly start to cut off access to software by other means your school may be a Mac mobile shop, but you won't remain a Mac desktop shop. Love for a company slowly wanes when the cost to do business becomes cost ineffective and the business/institution loses too much control. Even someone who is invested in Apple should realize there is a tipping point for businesses/educational institutions.

You tax question is fairly simple. To even participate in volume purchasing you need a credit card tied to your school. You are in effect purchasing seats and therefore the tax liability and how you would amortize or write off those purchases is all in your favor. You're simply SOL at this time if the person leaving is taking the hardware with them as there is no revocation from afar for third party applications.

These things also should have been ironed out a long time ago with Apple's policies... but hey - what can you do?
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
121 months ago
I'd like to buy more volume for my iPhone, I can barely hear anything with these earbuds.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iPhone 12 Pro in Graphite and iPhone 12 in Blue Shown Off in Unboxing Videos

Monday October 19, 2020 8:20 am PDT by
While the iPhone 12 Pro does not launch until Friday, we now have an early unboxing video of the device courtesy of Twitter account DuanRui, providing a closer look at the shiny new flat-edge design and sleek Graphite color option. Ben Geskin re-uploaded the unboxing video to YouTube, which we've embedded below: Geskin has also uploaded an unboxing video of the iPhone 12 in Blue: ...

Kuo: iPhone 12 Pro Demand Higher Than Expected

Sunday October 18, 2020 10:39 pm PDT by
TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo released a research note this morning detailing what he's seen with the volume of iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro pre-orders in the first weekend of sales. Kuo had previously indicated that Apple's estimated shipment allocations for the new iPhone models placed the iPhone 12 at the top with 40-45% of inventory allocation (up from 15-20%). However, ...

Apple's New MagSafe Charger and Cases Begin Arriving to Customers

Saturday October 17, 2020 10:10 am PDT by
Apple's new MagSafe charger and cases have begun arriving to some customers earlier than expected, and images of the accessories have started to surface on Twitter. The photos provide a first look at the products in real-world use. As of writing, some MagSafe cases are also available for pickup at select Apple Stores in countries like the United States, Canada, and Germany. Filip...

HomePod Mini Cable is Non-Detachable, Ends With USB-C Connector for Use With Included 20W Power Adapter

Friday October 16, 2020 12:45 pm PDT by
While not detailed in the tech specs, MacRumors can confirm that Apple's new HomePod mini features a non-detachable power cable that ends with a USB-C connector for use with the 20W power adapter included in the box. With the switch to USB-C, the HomePod mini could potentially be powered by a wider range of devices and peripherals, ranging from MacBooks to USB-C battery packs with enough...

Samsung Mocks Apple for Ditching Power Adapters With iPhone 12 Lineup

Thursday October 15, 2020 11:51 am PDT by
Samsung on its social channels is mocking Apple for removing the power adapter from the iPhone 12 lineup and other iPhone models, pointing out the fact that the Samsung Galaxy smartphones continue to ship with a power adapter. "Included with your Galaxy," reads a Samsung Facebook post that features a picture of a power adapter. Apple notably is no longer providing power adapters or...

New Google App Feature Lets You Hum a Song to Search for It

Saturday October 17, 2020 4:05 am PDT by
Google has added a new feature to its Search app that allows you to hum a song that's stuck in your head, and then use the company's machine learning algorithm to try and identify it. In the Google app or using the Google Search widget, tap the mic icon and say "what's this song?" or click the "Search a song" button. Then start humming the tune for 10-15 seconds. When you're done, the...

Brazilian Certifications Suggest iPhone 12 Mini Features 2,227mAh Battery and iPhone 12 Has 2,815mAh Battery

Friday October 16, 2020 1:08 pm PDT by
Apple's iPhone mini has the shortest battery life out of all the iPhones in the iPhone 12 lineup due to its small size, but Apple has not provided public information about the battery's capacity. A regulatory filing from Brazil, however, suggests the iPhone 12 mini has a battery capacity of 2,227mAh. The same regulatory information says the iPhone 12 features a 2,815mAh battery, which is...

iPhone 12 Pro Pre-Orders Already Selling Out With Delivery Times Pushing Into November

Friday October 16, 2020 6:35 am PDT by
Apple today opened pre-orders for the 6.1-inch models of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro through its website and the Apple Store app, and estimated delivery times are already slipping into November for select configurations in the United States. Customers ordering a SIM-free/Pacific Blue/128GB version of the iPhone 12 Pro, for example, are already facing an estimated delivery window of...

Hands-On With Apple's MagSafe Charger for iPhone 12

Monday October 19, 2020 11:54 am PDT by
Alongside the new iPhone 12 models, Apple introduced a MagSafe charger that attaches to the back of the iPhones using magnets embedded both in the charger and in the iPhone. It allows for speedier charging and paves the way for a portless iPhone in the future. MagSafe chargers are shipping out and are in some Apple retail locations now, and we picked one up to check it out. Subscribe to the ...

Apple Offering Free AirPods With iPhone 11 Purchase in India as Part of Diwali Celebration

Friday October 16, 2020 12:35 pm PDT by
Apple today launched a new Diwali promotion in India that will see the company providing customers with a set of AirPods with the purchase of any iPhone 11 model. The new iPhone 12 models are not part of the promotion. Apple is offering the standard AirPods With Charging Case free with purchase, but customers can choose to upgrade to the AirPods with Wireless Charging Case or the AirPods Pro....