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Apple on song with iTunes in Asia

By Alexis Lai, CNN
June 29, 2012 -- Updated 0313 GMT (1113 HKT)
Apple customers across much of Asia will now be able to purchase songs and movies from an Asian iTunes store.
Apple customers across much of Asia will now be able to purchase songs and movies from an Asian iTunes store.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.S. technology giant has rolled out its online digital media store, iTunes, across Asia
  • Apple customers previously had to purchase media using gift cards from countries with an iTunes store
  • China -- Apple's second largest market -- will not yet have an iTunes store

Hong Kong (CNN) -- In a move that is surely music to the ears of Apple fans in Asia, the U.S. technology giant has rolled out its online digital media store, iTunes, in a dozen territories, including Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines.

While Apple's wildly popular Mac computers, iPhones, and iPads are widely available in the Asia-Pacific region, its customers outside of Australia, Japan, and New Zealand have previously been unable to purchase music, movies, and other media from iTunes without a gift card or credit card attached to a billing address in a country with an iTunes store.

Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Taiwan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam complete the list.

Curiously, mainland China is the obvious absentee, despite being the California-based company's second largest market and the site of five Apple retail stores.

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Apple would not comment on the company's plans to launch iTunes in China.

The tech giant's sales in China surged to a record high of $7.9 billion for the first quarter of 2012, putting it on course to double the $13.3 billion it made for the whole of 2011.

Apple has sold more than 16 billion songs via its iTunes Store since it was launched in 2003, according to the company.

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