SINGAPORE, June 29 (Bernama) -- Apple today launched its long awaited iTunes stores across 12 countries in Asia.
Already available in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, now consumers with credit cards in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam, will be able to access millions of songs and movies.
Manoj Menon, Partner and Asia Pacific Managing Director for Frost & Sullivan said: "This is a fantastic development for consumers in Asia. Apple's growth in these markets was predominantly fuelled by the hardware sales. This announcement will help Apple leverage the completeness of its ecosystem a lot better in these markets."
With mobile devices being hugely popular in these markets, Menon said this step forward will enable Apple to compete more effectively with Android.
Android-based phones have done relatively well in several of these countries because of the lower price models that are available from a variety of different manufacturers.
"The iTunes store is also a way to get long-term relationships with customers as it can be a big differentiator," he added.
He said this also opened the market for Asian content owners to leverage this platform to drive sales in their home markets, and will accelerate market development of digital content in this region.
The launch was welcomed and very well received. "This may also be a very positive development towards helping the industry fight piracy in several of these countries.
"The availability of content in attractively packaged and priced formats will encourage and enable several users to stay away from piracy. This is a very powerful development for the industry and the ecosystem," added Menon.
Regional giants China, India and Indonesia were not a part of the launch today and Menon said, "Apple also needs to urgently be able to launch the iTunes Store in these countries, particularly China and India. This has not yet been announced, but these markets will be key to long-term continued growth for Apple.