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iTunes Store opens in SA today

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A little more than three months after the Simfy Africa unlimited music download service was launched in South Africa, Apple broke years of silence by announcing the opening of the iTunes Store in this country.

Apple today announced the launch of the iTunes Store in Russia, Turkey, India, South Africa and 52 additional countries. The long-awaited announcement – local fans have been clamouring for it for many years – comes a little more than three months after the launch of Simfy Africa, which introduced a flat fee for unlimited music streaming and downloads on 27 August.

The iTunes offering features local and international music from all the major labels and thousands of independent labels. The iTunes Store features local artists including Elka in Russia, Sezen Aksu in Turkey, AR Rahman in India, and Zahara in South Africa, international artists including The Beatles, Taylor Swift and Coldplay, and world-renowned classical musicians including Lang Lang, Yo Yo Ma and Yuja Wang.

Both iTunes and Simfy claim more than 20 million songs available.

The iTunes Store also allows movie fans to choose from a wide selection of films for rent or purchase in most countries, but not yet in South Africa.

Local distributors are also signed up in Russia, Turkey, India and Indonesia, but not yet in South Africa.

The iTunes Store is now available in 119 countries . All music on the iTunes Store comes in iTunes Plus, Apple’s DRM-free format with 256 kbps AAC encoding for audio, which Apple says is “virtually indistinguishable from the original recordings””.

iTunes in the Cloud allows users to download previously purchased iTunes music to all iOS devices at no additional cost, and new music purchases can be downloaded automatically to alldevices. In addition, music not purchased from the iTunes Store can gain the same benefits by using iTunes Match, a service that stores an entire music library in iCloud for access at any time, from any iOS device. iTunes Match is available for purchase in the new countries added today.

Customers also have access to the App Store with more than 700,000 apps available in 155 countries.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes 11 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Store and is available as a free download from apple.com/itunes. iTunes Store purchases require a valid credit card with a billing address in country.

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