updated 01:05 pm EDT, Thu August 4, 2005
Jobs on iTunes for Japan
Apple's Steve Jobs, who launched : "The future looks very, very bright for the iPod in Japan," he said during the launch event. Jobs reminded users that while Sony shipped 2 million PSP digital music players last quarter, Apple shipped more than three times as many iPods--nearly 6.2 million in total for the second quarter of 2005. While the service launched to much fanfare, offerings from Japanese artists on Sony labels aren't available on iTunes, though a deal may soon be in the works, according to a Sony representative who said that Sony is currently in talks with Apple, but has yet not reached an agreement.
"We think this is going to change the experience of discovering and buying and enjoying music in Japan. Together with the iPod, we think we are ushering in a whole new age of digital music."
The Associated Press notes that Apple has been "investing aggressively in Japan, not only by starting iTunes but also by advertising, such as iPod posters plastered on trains and opening the fourth Apple store in Japan Saturday."
During the launch event, Jobs said that iTunes had been tailored for the Japanese market to include exclusive recordings and video clips by Japanese artists. With the addition of Japan, iTunes music store is now available in 20 nations, reaching 85 percent of the global music market, according to the report.
Apple's drive-based iPod offerings ranked No. 1, No. 2, and No. 4 among hard-drive portable players in Japan sales, according to Gfk Marketing Services Japan in Tokyo. "Sony Network Walkman models were catching up at No. 3 and No. 5, but still apparently unable to make up for the iPod's early start," according to the AP.