iPhone Business Deployment

Posted on 2011-02-16
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We are deploying about 9 iPhones to employees and I was wondering if I should have one company Apple ID associated with all of the iPhones. When we decide on what apps we want to purchase from the app store, we then buy them and sync to all the iPhones. I am aware of the Iphone config utility but the only thing I see about apps in the deployment guide, is deploying in-house apps (which we do not do). What is the best way of tackling this? Do we really want our employees creating their own Apple ID and having free reign on their business iPhones?
Question by:Trihimbulus
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Ugo Mena
ID: 34912195
We have run into this same issue with iPads.... and ultimately decided to use a different configuration profile and Apple Id for each user. Reasons are numerous, but the main reason is that each user will inevitably want to load some songs or legitimate apps on their phone or just sync information from their workstations. Using one account to manage 9 users will be a nightmare, esp if all 9 know the password and login... not to mention that I don't think you will be able to authorize more than 5 machines with one account anyway.

If you are really just looking to lock the phones down, you can lock down the device quite a bit with the iphone config tool (ie allow/not allow use of youtube, itunes music store, in app purchase, installing apps, use of safari, etc, etc.)

Create separate configuration profiles for each phone (lock them down as you wish and use the Security feature to control when and how the profile can be removed) and have each user setup an Apple Id.


Author Comment

ID: 34915834
But to even download free apps your Apple ID has to be associated witha credit card number. It is both wrong to have them use their personal credit card and to have the company cc associated with their accounts. What did you do?
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Ugo Mena
ID: 34916421
We have overcome the credit card usage by applying itunes store credits to the account(s). Those users that are authorized to use their credit cards for such just enter their cards. It is fairly easy to switch the card information for personal purchases when required.
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Author Comment

ID: 34945965
OK- so should I setup iTunes accounts for all of the iPhone users and assign to the same credit card or should I set them all up on their individual credit cards? I really want some control over this! This is confusing.....
LVL 13

Expert Comment

by:Ugo Mena
ID: 34946192
The only way I know of to setup an iTunes account without a credit card is to redeem an iTunes gift certificate and create the account at the same time. This method allows you to bypass entering a credit card by using the certificate as credit.  Just make sure your gift-card or gift-certificate number appears on the billing screen and do not click on any of the credit-card types or enter any credit-card information.

The only problem is that you would need to have a store credit for each iTunes account you would like to setup.

Otherwise you should set up the accounts using each user's credit card information (if you have access to it). As long as each user has their own card this shouldn't be a problem.

I would not try to setup the accounts using the same credit card as this will probably create some issues when anyone tries to purchase something...although they could just replace the credit card information at the time of their purchase, it will create extra work on your end.

Remember that you won't be able to control what each user does with their iTunes store account, but you can limit what the device will allow them to do within the device configuration you install.

Accepted Solution

spidey23 earned 500 total points
ID: 34959527
First, a small correction, you can create apple ids for all your employees without credit by following the I instructions here:

Secondly, when you decide what apps you want your nine employees to purchase you can simply buy the apps for them using the single company account and send the apps to them as a gifted app. This will eliminate 2 things:

1 - the need to give employees use of the corporate credit card

2 - the need to ever have any of those phones come in for manual syncing, that should save you tons of time

Let me know if you have other questions.


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