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Apple introduces volume app purchasing program to 9 countries

Apple on Tuesday announced the introduction of its Volume Purchase Program for developers in nine new countries, allowing app makers to sell their wares in bulk to businesses and educational institutions.

In an announcement to developers, Apple said it is extending volume purchasing for iOS apps beyond U.S. borders for the first time, with the program now available in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Developers who choose to take part in the program can offer their apps at a discounted rate for businesses and schools that buy in bulk. In addition to the special pricing, developers can craft specialized business-to-business apps for customers that are part of the Volume Purchasing Program for Business, further incentivizing bulk buys.

Educational institutions can also benefit from the program as developers can offer both apps and e-books at reduced pricing on purchases of 20 units or more. In addition, the normal sales tax attached to the apps will be waived if the school has tax-exempt status. The purchased content can be distributed to students, teachers, administrators, and employees.

It was reported earlier on Tuesday that Apple's iPad definitively replaced sales of traditional PCs to schools and students in the K-12 market for the first time. In the June quarter, education shipments for PCs fell 265,000 units or 13.9 percent year-to-year, while Apple's iPad sold almost one million units over the same period.