updated 11:47 pm EST, Tue November 5, 2013
Limited countries only, redeemed through Passbook
Apple Store application users in the United States have had the ability to purchase virtual gift cards through the application for just over a year, but on Tuesday Apple expanded the program to a limited number of international countries through an Apple Store app update. The virtual gift cards, which can be shared to others for use in either the retail or online Apple Store, are redeemed through the Passbook application and now available in four other countries.
The Apple Store app update that enables the virtual gift cards are now live in Australia, Canada, Italy and the UK, with New Zealand expected to be added shortly. It's not yet clear if cards bought in one country and shared with someone in another country will be honored, but in-country sharing works just as it does in the US. There's no word yet on which countries beyond the first four will receive the Apple Store app update.