updated 09:39 am EST, Mon December 3, 2012
iTunes Music Store finally on verge of Russian launch?
A low-profile iTunes event is scheduled for December 4 in Moscow, a leak suggests. One of Apple's Russian PR staffers, Irina Efremova, is said to have sent out an email invitation to a small group of people, indicating that a musical evening will be taking place at GUM, a shopping center in Red Square. Beyond that nothing is certain; it's thought, though, that it could mean that the iTunes Music Store will finally be opening in Russia in the near future.
On November 20, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency indicated that the store was originally supposed to launch in October, but then delayed to November, and later given an indefinite timeframe. 9to5Mac pointed out that some music was already showing up in searches at the App Store, and at prices cheaper than in the US. Tracks were listed between 35 and 65 cents US, compared to a standard 99 cents in the US itself.
As with most iTunes Music Stores launches, it's believed that the Russian delay is connected to negotiations with music labels. Cheap prices may be especially important in the Russian market, which is infamous for high levels of music piracy.