Skip to main content

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.
  • 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.

Hands-on with Apple's New MacBook Pro

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.

Part of complete coverage on
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1526 GMT (2326 HKT)
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0009 GMT (0809 HKT)
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1548 GMT (2348 HKT)
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0507 GMT (1307 HKT)
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
February 5, 2013 -- Updated 1215 GMT (2015 HKT)
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 0006 GMT (0806 HKT)
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
February 6, 2013 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 2327 GMT (0727 HKT)
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.