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Apple adjusts App Store exchange rates, adds business volume app purchases

Apple has changed the prices in a number of international App Stores to better reflect shifting currency exchange rates, while also announcing an upcoming Volume Purchase program for App Store apps for businesses.

International app prices

AppleInsider readers in the U.K. first noted late Wednesday that Apple appears to have adjusted the exchange rate across the board for their country's App Store, as USD$0.99 apps that used to cost £0.59 now cost £0.69. Apple's iWork apps now cost £13.99, up from £11.99, on the Mac App Store in the U.K., while the popular iOS versions have jumped from £5.99 to £6.99.

MacStories telegraphed the changes earlier Wednesday after Apple announced maintenance work on iTunes Connect.

In addition to the U.K., pricing changes have appeared in a number of country-specific App Stores around the world. Australia saw a price drop from AU$1.19 to AU$0.99 on apps that cost USD$0.99 in the States. Japan and Switzerland also saw price decreases, while prices went up in Mexico and Norway.

The adjustments were long overdue, as recent fluctuations in currencies, especially the dollar, had resulted in uneven pricing in a number of countries.

Volume app purchasing

Apple has posted an promotional page for its upcoming Volume Purchasing for Business program for apps on the App Store, though only U.S. customers are eligible at the moment.

"Streamline your purchasing process and put more power and productivity in the hands of your workforce," Apple wrote. "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."

Given that Apple specifically mentions that "apps are available for purchase at the same price listed in the App Store," it remains unclear whether volume business customers will enjoy the same volume discounts that are available to educational institutions. Last August, the iPhone maker introduced a Volume Purchase program for education customers looking to purchase App Store apps in bulk.

The new Volume App Purchase Program will also allow developers to market custom "B2B apps" to business customers. Apple's program guide notes that custom B2B apps will cost a minimum of $9.99 and will be subject to the same review guidelines as apps submitted to the App Store. Developers will submit the apps through iTunes Connect and designate businesses as authorized purchasers.

Amazon Kindle

The Cupertino, Calif., has been building strong momentum in the Enterprise. Global Equities Research analyst Trip Chowdhry said last week that new data indicates “probably about 35% of Fortune 500 companies are giving Apple as a Choice to its employees, and majority are preferring Apple over Windows.”

The analyst attributed Apple's success in part to the rapid adoption of the iPad, which has an apparent 'halo effect' that is boosting business sales of iPhones and Macs as well. The executive level of companies is "influencing the IT to bring Apple products into the Enterprise,” he said.

In April, Apple noted that 88 percent of the Fortune 500 are testing or deploying the iPhone, while 75 percent are testing or deploying the iPad.