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Apple on song with iTunes in Asia

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