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Is there any way to transfer licenses bought through Apple's VPP from one iDevice to another? (aka. I don't want to make apps a gift to the employee)

And what are the prerequisites if such a thing was possible?

Any source where I can easily figure that one out? Edit: I almost forgot, we don't have a BYOD-Program, so the iDevices are institutional property.

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I think I found the answer now here: techrepublic.com/blog/tablets/… > The VPP is designed to get apps to users but not to reclaim the license later on. If this is absolutely important to you, you’ll need to consider the option of redeeming a code under a generic account and installing that app with that account, exercising caution not to install more apps than you have licenses. This will give you the ability to reclaim those licenses and distribute them elsewhere in your organization. –  bjoern Jan 6 '13 at 11:02
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2 Answers 2

it looks like I haven't been the only one wondering about "owning" the license to an app and being able to reassign it.

App Store license management.

The App Store Volume Purchase Program now offers businesses the ability to assign apps to their users while keeping full ownership and control over app licenses. Companies purchase app licenses through the VPP website, and can use their MDM solution to assign apps to employees over the air. [...] Apps can be revoked at any time and reassigned to other employees. [...]

http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/business/

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Yes - this detail has likely been under NDA for a while, but now that it's out, we can speak of it here. ;-) –  bmike Jun 26 '13 at 23:35
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For iOS 6 and previous, when you issue an app purchased from VPP to a device - it becomes permanently tied to the Apple ID just like gifting an app burns a redemption code once it gets redeemed. Apple has publicly announced that VPP codes will be able to be reclaimed and reused indefinitely by the "purchaser" so this will likely be a pain of the past once iOS 7 ships.

Here is the marketing pitch from http://www.apple.com/ios/ios7/business/ under the App Store license management heading:

The App Store Volume Purchase Program now offers businesses the ability to assign apps to their users while keeping full ownership and control over app licenses. Companies purchase app licenses through the VPP website, and can use their MDM solution to assign apps to employees over the air. Employees can enroll with their personal Apple IDs without providing it to their company, and apps are placed in their purchase history for self-service download, or are installed automatically via MDM. Apps can be revoked at any time and reassigned to other employees. In addition to iOS apps, VPP now supports the purchase of Mac apps and even books, so users can be provided all the tools they need to get the job done.


Documenting how things are in the Summer of 2013 and earlier, here are the options we have.

There are some circumstances where you could use the Apple Configurator to manage VPP in a non-burned state for certain managed device configurations (think of a lab cart with 30 or more iOS devices, all configured the same for check in and check out like a library book where many people will use one app) but you need to safeguard the Mac since all those licenses are tied to that one computer so they are "burned" in a different manner than gifting / traditional VPP burns them.

You can have a policy where VPP are only issues to a company Apple ID, so you can rename that ID or use generic accounts and recover a "slot" for a new person when people change roles.

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I just don't fully understand it yet, I think. All I can put together right now is: - Use the Apple Configurator for devices that are checked in and out (so not specific to a user) - Use one institutional Apple ID to redeem one of the VPP codes and use this Apple ID to install the App up to the amount of available licenses/VPP codes. I just have no idea how to handle this, as I can't easily configure a given Apple ID to all of "our" devices, even with an MDM solution. –  bjoern Jan 7 '13 at 20:17
    
The short answer is no - you don't transfer licenses. I would reach out to Apple (their business teams in a retail store would be a good place to start if your business doesn't have access to another sales/support engineer) since there isn't a one size fits all answer on how to manage Apple ID. They can be sure you understand how it works today and may have experience with many other solutions that worked for similar situations. –  bmike Jan 7 '13 at 20:20
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