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Apple soft-opens iTunes Stores across Latin America

updated 12:30 am EST, Tue December 13, 2011

Still lacks books, iTunes Match, local currency

Across most of Latin America, the iTunes Store has now expanded from selling only apps to a full-blown store, including native and international music and movies for the first time, alongside apps, podcasts and iTunes University. So far, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, the Dominican Republic, Equador, Honduras, Panama, Peru and Venezuela have all been confirmed as offering full stores, though not without some significant omissions.

For now, prices in the new iTunes stores are set in US dollars, which limits purchasers to using international credit cards for payment. This is expected to severely restrict growth in the Latin American market, though the company is expected to eventually offer methods that can use local currency, such as PayPal. The only Latin American country that operates in its native currency so far is Mexico, which also gained movie rentals and Apple TV support earlier this year.

The new stores also lack TV shows and books outside of public-domain titles. One exception in the book department is the company's giveaway edition of a children's book version of Yellow Submarine by The Beatles. It is currently available on every international store, for free -- and in the Latin America stores, it is generally the only non-public domain book available.

All the stores that have expanded (at the time of this writing, Uruguay was still limited to apps, podcasts and iTunes U only) are also lacking iTunes Match, which is not yet available to any country outside the US. Interestingly, the terms and conditions agreement for some of the Latin American stores mention iTunes Match, but Apple has not announced any dates for the service to expand, and will likely roll it out in English-speaking countries first as has been its custom.











by MacNN Staff

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