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Apple to unveil iTune Store soon

By Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai
August 25, 2008 15:35 IST
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Apple, the US consumer electronics and software company, is close to opening its iTune Store in India. iTune Store, the world's most popular online entertainment store, offers songs, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks and iPod games.

Apple will open iTune Store "immediately" to enable users buy legitimate entertainment content for their iPods, touch iPods, Mac PCs and iPhones, according to sources. To buy files through the store, a user requires a valid credit card with a billing address in the country of purchase.

When contacted, an Apple spokesperson declined to comment stating that as a policy the company does not comment on products and services that are yet to be launched.

Since its debut on April 28, 2003, the company has sold over five billion songs through its iTunes Store (www.itunes.com) and rented or sold over 50,000 movies per day.

In India, users purchase entertainment content from websites, at times from legitimate portals, but mostly end up buying pirated contents. However, through Apple's store users can buy entertainment content legally and the quality of the music is guaranteed.

Apple's move comes close on the heels of the launch of the 3G iPhones in India on Friday. Separately, around 400,000 applicants had registered for the 3G iPhone with GSM service providers Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Essar.

"We have received applications from 200,000   prospective customers who have registered through SMS and on our website. We have begun issuing the handsets through 400 Airtel outlets and 19 Apple resellers across 65 locations in India," Bharti Airtel's CEO (Maharashtra & Goa), Manu Talwar, said.

According to sources, Vodafone-Essar, the other GSM provider offering 3G iPhones in the country, has also received a similar number of applications. However, analysts expect interest for the smartphone to wane as the prices are comparatively high on lack of subsidies. The 3G iPhone 8-GB is priced at Rs 31,000, while the 16-GB is offered at around Rs 36,000.

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Rajesh S Kurup in Mumbai
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