updated 12:35 pm EST, Wed November 30, 2011
Brazil, other unspecified countries on tap
(Updated with AP info) Apple will finally expand the iTunes Music Store to the rest of Latin America on December 8th, moving beyond Mexico, claims Brazilian magazine Veja. The company has allegedly already secured deals with Brazilian music labels. To make a splash in that country, Apple has reportedly secured the rights to songs from Roberto Carlos, who like The Beatles was previously a long-time holdout on digital sales. Beatles albums only reached iTunes late last year.
Something that may hamper Apple's initial sales in the region are payment restrictions. Shoppers will allegedly be limited to using international credit cards at first, despite many people in the area not having any credit card. Brazil has an ownership rate of about 72 percent. Veja suggests, though, that Apple could start billing people in local currencies within six months.
Reports from other news sources hint that Apple intends to open a regional office in the near future, but where is uncertain. Epoca says it has heard the office could go up in the Brazilian city of São Paulo. Chilean reporter Alejandro Alaluf, though, claims that "Apple is officially settling in Chile, with offices, legal registration and everything."
Update: Michaela Couto, executive director of the Brazilian Union of Music Publishers, says that talks with Apple are at an "advanced stage," according to the Associated Press, quoting the newspaper O Globo. Couto adds that the iTunes Music Store could launch in Brazil by mid-December.