Apple's bulk-buying app scheme 'too complex' for schools

The company's Volume Purchase Program for bulk purchasing of mobile apps is too complicated for schools to use, say experts
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

Apple's cloistered App Store would deter schools from using its recently launched Volume Purchase Program as it complicates the already bureaucratic and complex nature of the education sector, according to industry watchers.

The Volume Purchase Program enables schools to buy apps for students' mobile devices such as the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.

According to a report by ZDNet UK's sister site ZDNet.com, schools need to appoint an "authorised purchaser" to handle the procurement and management process. The role of purchaser is important as the person's credit account will be used to buy vouchers, which will then be used to purchase apps in bulk. This adds another layer to the usual app-buying process, in which users pay for their apps via their credit card instead of using vouchers, noted the report.

However, Ryan Wuerch, chairman and chief executive of Motricity, said that this system is inherently flawed. He noted in an interview that the bulk buying programme does not factor in the "complexities" of the education system in general, which include many layers of bureaucracy, and the integration of the mobile apps with institutions' legacy IT systems.

For more on this ZDNet UK-selected story, see Apple's walled app market makes bulk buying 'tough' on ZDNet Asia.

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