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Apple expands Volume Purchase Program to 16 new countries in education, business push

As promised in July, Apple on Friday expanded its Volume Purchase Program for apps and iBook titles to 16 new countries, including major markets in the Middle East and South America.

Announced in an email sent to content makers via iTunes Connect, as well as a subsequent post on Apple's website, the Volume Purchase Program is now available to businesses and educational institutions in 16 new countries, bringing the total number of supported regions up to 26. The planned expansion was first reported last month.

As of today, VPP is now available in Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hong Kong, Ireland, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates. The new regions add to existing coverage in North America, Europe and the East Asia.

First introduced in 2010 to serve Apple's push in education, VPP offers registered schools and businesses up to a 50 percent discount when buying 20 or more copies of an app or iBook title. Bulk purchasing was made available to business class users in 2011 and has since become a major component in Apple's pursuit of selling managed distribution solutions to corporate customers.

Most recently, the company opened up VPP eligibility to Mac apps last October. The program is opt-in for developers and content creators.