Playing New Tunes
Hot on the heels of the iTunes 11 release, Apple's media service is now available in Russia, Turkey, India and South Africa who get access to music and movies, while 52 other countries get just the music, including local acts, which is probably what took the time to roll iTunes out in so many places.
That brings the number of iTunes-enabled countries up to 119 and will likely do no harm to global sales of iPad, iPhone and iPod devices. Anyone can browse the global stores using the country flag at the bottom of the app, but you can only order content with a credit card based in that country, so sorry Bollywood fans, you can only window shop in the Indian store.
Hopefully, one day we'll have a truly global store, with none of these archaic record-label or film-studio restrictions and can pick and choose the best of the world's entertainment. Still, at least everyone from Ghana to the Caribbean can now join in the music.
The Major Markets Beckon
While Apple aims to please all, and is now a major OEM in its own right in the U.S., it will be looking to the massive markets of India and China with over a billion citizens each, as growth drivers for its business. The signs look good for another successful iPhone 5 launch in China with the country's Unicom telco announcing 100,000 pre-orders for the new model on the first day.
The iPhone 5 is due to launch in an additional 50 countries this month, but in many places it will be the older models, that come with less of an overhead including the free-with-contract iPhone 4 model, which could attract more users join the Apple bandwagon in the endless battle with Android.
Google's Play store only just arrived in the U.K., Germany and a few other places last month, so has some catching up to do if it is to become the default store for Android users around the world.