Help with App Store App Deployment, Licensing & Costs

maxwell's picture


Joined: May 9, 2011
No votes yet

Hello there,

Can anyone help share their experiences with deploying App Store apps in a business? I thought it would be best to summarise my experience and knowledge so far:

  1. Firstly we have a Mobile Device Management server in place (, which we use to manage our fleet of 200 Windows PDAs. It also happens to support iOS devices, we are happy with the level of control but are struggling with App Store apps.
  2. Under Apple's Terms of Sale I understand that apps can only be used for "personal, non-commercial use". So I take it that we cannot buy apps for business, without breaching the agreement? It really doesn't make any sense that there is a "Business" section in the App Store either. I don't think I'm the only one to struggle
  3. Even if there was an enterprise agreement or it was ok - how would we deploy the Apps centrally? It seems the only ways are:
    • have the employee create a personal iTunes account, and then re-imburse the costs
    • have the employee create a business itunes account, and then cover the costs as expenses on company credit card
    • create a central IT dept account, and the "gift" the app

    In any case, the user ends up as the owner of thes software, and so when they leave they take it with them - which isn't what we want.

  4. Having an employee own the software, I understand this means there is a UK benefit in kind tax liabilty on the company. Does any one else have a method for managing this?
  5. Given the above would HM Revenue & Customs view the device as mixed use and then create another tax liabilty?
  6. Is it right that the only way to back up the device, documents, and app data is through iTunes?

If anyone can help, or share their experiences it would be greatly appreciated.

I am currently speaking with Vodafone, an Apple consultancy firm, Apple Business, and our Tax Officer - so I will update when I have any more info.



regexp's picture


Joined: May 5, 2011

in response

Your rating: None

1. So do we
2. That's incorrect - you should read the terms again
3. Yes and no - most applications (e-mail for example) require connectivity to corporate systems to be useful. When an employee leaves we cut off that access so the application really can't function. So our licensing is really centered around access to the central application and typically there is no cost for the application on the endpoint (such as your iPhone).
As for corporate developed applications - we distribute them outside of the app store.
4. We don't purchase or reimburse for phones anymore. Its the employee's phone. When they leave they take it with them and we cut off access to corporate systems. We also reserve the right to wipe the device which the employee agrees to when they register for access.
5. Not sure - I do not live in the UK.
6. For data stored on the device - yes.

maxwell's picture


Joined: May 5, 2011

Follow up questions

Your rating: None

Hello thank you for the response,

Ok, I may have got point 2 wrong but can you please elaborate?


(i) You shall be authorised to use Products only for personal, noncommercial use. For details of your rights and restrictions on your rights to use the Products, see:... "

And then later on...


Solely as an accommodation to you, you may re-download certain Products for use in accordance with the Usage Rules. Not all Products are eligible for this accommodation or may be available at any given time. iTunes shall have no liability to you in the event... "

I don't mean to be rude or flipant, but can you please explain? As I ned to have this conversation with others?

I do like the idea you have implemented with going down in-house apps - but we couldn't give up the devices we purchased. That is definately a tax liabilty for us.


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