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iTunes account -ipads & apps

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Started by Eric Martini 03 Jun 2012 6:27pm () Replies (20)

The issue of how many idevices and apps that can be synced to an itunes account, seems to have many and varied interpretations.

In an attempt to seek clarity on the issue, I contacted Apple support and asked the question - how many idevices and apps can be synced an itunes account, for those outside of the US.

The following is the first response from Apple Support.

Date: Mon, 2 Apr 2012 06:50:45 -0700
From: iTunesStoreSupport@apple.com
To: emartini
Subject: Re: Account Management; Follow-up: 19977****

Hello Eric,

This is Brittany from iTunes support. I hope this email finds you in good spirits.

I understand that you want to find out, how many iPads you can place an app on. I'm sure you're incredibly eager to get this issue looked after and I would be more than happy to assist you today!

The devices are limitless as long as the account it was purchased on is authorized to that device.

You were talking about the apps being for educational purposes, I want to suggest the educational volume purchasing.

To find out more about this program, please use the following resources:

App Store Volume Purchase Program for Education

Volume Purchase Program for Education FAQ

I want to thank you for your time and patience Eric. It has been a pleasure talking with you and I hope you continue
to enjoy everything Apple! Please remember if you have any future questions or concerns you can email me. I am always
here for you! Have a wonderful day!


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support


Surprised by the response - I replied with a rephrased email posing the question again....


Thank you for your reply Brittany.

However I don't think you've read the question properly.

I'm asking - when an app is purchased how many ipads can a school install that "particular app" on.

eg A school purchases the "go anywhere" app for $0.99.

If the school were to have 25 ipads authorized to that account- how many of those ipads would they legally be able to install - before needing to buy another license for that app?

is it 1 ipad, 5 ipads, 10 ipads or more?

Your reply "The devices are limitless as long as the account it was purchased on is authorized to that device. " suggests I can install it on all 25 ipads and more for only $0.99.

This therefore begs the question why would I buy a volume license if i can install them on the 25 ipads!

Also in my original email I mentioned that I'm from "NZ" - I should have clarified - I'm from New Zealand (abbreviated to NZ), and not in the US.

(ed note: the location was also entered as part of submitting the question - so it was clear the question came from NZ and not the US)

The "Volume Purchase Program for Education" is only available in the US.

As per the T&C's on your website:
"U.S. SALES ONLY -The Service is available to you only in the United States, its territories, and possessions."

So to clarify :
1) is the "Volume Purchase Program for Education" available to education institutions in New Zealand?
2) if not - is there any alternative for bulk purchasing for educational institutions in New Zealand.

thank you




Apples response....

Hi Eric,

Thank you so much for taking the time out to email me back. I do apologize for my miscommunication.

If there are 25 iPads and they are all authorized to that account, the app was purchased on, they will be okay to all have the app on the iPads.

The only way you should have an issue is if they were computers. Computers, your only allowed up to 5 computers authorized.

iPhone, iPads and iPod Touch's, you have a limitless amount.

I want to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you Eric. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns with this issue and other iTunes services that you may have. I want to make sure you feel completely comfortable with the outcome of this email. I hope you have a great day and thank you for using Apple iTunes.


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support



  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 7:24pm ()

    Wow Eric thanks for sharing this. I think there are a few question we can bounce around to get this VERY clear. Apple are talking authorised iPads  - though I am not sure of the difference between having an iPad linked to the App store and a laptop. I only have my own iPad so can't test this but the above is suggesting that you can have your 25 (let's say) iPads all linked to the one account and you can purchase on one and download on all 25. That is not syncing -is there a way to do this iPad to iPad?

    Logistics. If I have an app downloaded on my iPad and I go into the App store it tells me it is downloaded and greys out the connection. Now if you have a second iPad, same account, and you link that to the store does it say install and do it at no cost? Install and pay? Greyed out? We are talking iPads here, not syncing from iTunes. Just checking to see how it works?

    Now the computer question is different again. It is my understanding is, in a private environment, that you have 1 computer authorised and can sync up to 5 devices. I agree with Matt that my reading of the EULA is 1:1 for schools. 

    I would like others reflections but certainly the intent of the reply from Apple would suggest a limitless amount - the second sentence is almost clear on that.

    Thoughts - while the fence I am sitting on.



  • anamatangi (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 7:44pm ()

    We have 22 iPads at school and we sync and download the same apps to all devices regularly.  To answer Innes's question above, YES... If you purchase an app on one iPad, when you go to the app store on another iPad (under the same account) or iTunes on a laptop, then you have the opportunity to load purchased apps on other devices under that account to the other iPad or to theiTunes account... So that then all iPads can be syncEd to the laptop with all apps.   I find it har dot believe also, but we've bought an app on our school iTunes account for $4.99 or whatever and then seem to be able to load it on to as many devices as we like as long as they are under the same iTunes account.  

  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 8:16pm ()

    Once you've purchased an app you could install it on any idevice you own and the app is compatible with.

    If you own mulitlple devices - such as a school, for example you could use Apple configurator (Mac App) to create multiple profiles and assign different apps to different ipads - You can amend the apps list and restrictions etc for each profile on a Mac and then when the ipad is synced the changes take affect.   - Configurator needs OS Lion.

    Regarding the difference between authorised ipads and laptops/computers....

    When you authorize a laptop or computer (Mac or PC) to access an itunes account the contents of that account, be it music, apps, videos, ebooks etc can be downloaded to that computer.

    Apple only allows you to have 5 computers authorized at any one time to access the one itunes account.

    In regards to idevices you could technically sync as many devices as you like to the one itunes account.

    I think the best way to resolve this question is for the MoE to talk to Apple and get a definitive response.

    Given the popularity of the ipads in schools in the past 12 months I'm surprised they haven't done this already.

  • Innes Kennard (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 8:39pm ()

    seems like ipad to ipad is fine, you just open it up and use the App store to donwload the app - same Apple ID of course - this meets the comment made in the email. Mmm the worms have just turned in the can.

    Not sure why the MoE might talk to Apple, they are a company like Samsung or Scholastic. It might be a grey area but I think it will be up to schools to work out where they stand regarding copyright and ethics then proceed accordingly. Which is why your email replies have raised some quesitons - thanks for sharing. It is an interesting question and one that I am sure developers will have thoughts on. Imagine spending sigificant time developing an app, then making it $1.99 so it is affordable to the masses but then the masses spread that $1.99 over numbers of machines. Sometimes we need to walk in someone elses shoes.

    Wavering on the fence.


  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 8:54pm ()

    the difference being that apps can only be bought through the app store and Apple owns the app store and govern all users being their T&C's. It's a closed environment.


  • Matthew Thomas (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 9:15pm ()

    Wow Eric, they are some pretty great emails! I think I might print out the second one and frame it!  As a developer that makes me a bit gutted, but te the guy in charge of iPads at school it makes me smile! Think of the money we could save!

    I have to wonder if 'Brittany' from iTunes Store Customer Support doesn't really know what she's talking about.  If this is the case, what's the point of having VPP in the States at all?  A lot of developers would cease to bother creating great educational apps.  Mind you, most of the great apps for school aren't found in the Education section, are they!

    I'm bemused by these emails.  Find them too different to everything else we've heard and been told about this issue to believe it straight away.  But thanks for posting them up Eric.  

  • Peter Eaton (View all users posts) 03 Jun 2012 10:35pm ()

    Matt is correct:  'Brittany' is incorrect as although technically you 'can', the EULA you agree to whenever you access your iTunes account specifically says that you 'may' not and you are violating that legal agreement.

    If you choose to, it is the same as buying one copy of Jill Eggelton's books and photocopying it 20 odd times instead of buying a set. You 'can' do this to and may choose to, but you should not.

    The key is that purchasing an app is a license for one person (who may own multiple devices). In this case you probably need a license per student, it has nothing to do with e number of devices. Most schools are fence sitting and adopting the "5 device family" part of the EULA which is still not correct, but is fairer to everyone. The VPP just makes it easier to purchase a lot of licenses, you still need one per iTunes account, which each person should have their own.


  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 04 Jun 2012 11:21am ()

    Peter, I believe you're correct -in your second part to your email -  the key point is licences per user and not device, which makes the email from Brittany correct. She simply didn't omitted the licence per user issue. The VPP does provide a discount for bulk purchasing.

    What schools would need to decide is how many users a paid app would be used by at that point in time, and buy the appropriate licences.

  • Michelle Simms (View all users posts) 17 Jun 2012 11:06am ()

    Just thought you might like to know that the Volume Purchase Program is now 'coming soon' to New Zealand - http://www.apple.com/education/volume-purchase-program/.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 17 Jun 2012 11:31am ()

    Aha - I just noticed that too, and was about to post the same alert as you. I wonder what the time-frame actually is, and how that will affect us retrospectively, considering we are already under way with our iPads and apps. We'd all better start budgeting a lot more for our apps. I was reading Mark Gleeson's blog post about setting up his school iPads (which I could relate to!), and followed his link about the VPP...

  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 17 Jun 2012 11:35am ()

    As far as I know the VPP is only for apps where the developer decides they actually want VPP- it isn't across the board for every developer so I wouldn't hold your breath for it to a total answer.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 17 Jun 2012 11:39am ()

    Yes, I wonder what percentage of apps are actually part of the VPP. My impression is, that at best, it makes apps available at half price if you buy at least 20 copies.

  • Josie Woon (View all users posts) 23 Jun 2012 9:17pm ()

    Hi i need some help.  I have 2 iPads at the mo but run them solely through the wireless haven't had to sync as we are a PC school so no mAcs, with an interactive board what is neatest way to mirror the iPad onto the board, I just want to be able to show the iPad screen for teaching purposeclass the class. I downloaded the free trial of reflection but couldn't get it to work and couldnt find the answer to my set up questions throusmut he help menu.  I was going to buy a VGA connection but from the feedback on the apple site this has  been a bit misleading as said it did not mirror all apps.  Any help wold be most appreciated that is not going to cost a fortune.  Thanks

  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 23 Jun 2012 10:07pm ()

    If you have the ipad 2 - then the adapter is the best option. It will (should) mirror the ipad. The issue was with the first generation ipads - where mirriring was restricted to photos and video.

    As for the PC and syncing - you don't need a Mac to run ipads - just download itunes for PC - plug in the ipads and sync -  or turn on sync via wifi and sync it wirelessy ( you do need to have itunes open and running to sync wirelessly).

  • Josie Woon (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2012 8:35am ()

    Awesome thanks heaps I'll get adaptor over hols and give it a go. Didn't realize could sync wirelessly so will do that.  Yes i have the ipad2

  • Eric Martini (View all users posts) 24 Jun 2012 10:37am ()

    in order to sync wirelessly you need to turn that feature on  - in iTunes.

    When you have itunes installed and running you need to plug the ipad via cable first. You'll see the ipad appear on the left handside... if you click on it you will get the info screen about the ipad.. serial no, iOS version etc.... scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see the "sync via wifi" option. tick it, then you'll be able to sync via wifi, in future. you have to do this for each ipad.

    When you do want to sync the ipad, open up itunes and have it running , then on the ipad tap the "Settings" icon and then "General" you should see the "iTunes Wifi Sync" link, tap to open then "Sync Now" when you're ready.

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