SINGAPORE - Apple Inc. said on Wednesday it has launched its iTunes online media store in 12 Asian territories including Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and the Philippines, making it easier for customers in the region to buy and download music and videos.
While Asian users of Apple's iPhones and iPads are able to download applications such as the popular Angry Birds game, they have been unable to buy songs and movies online unless they have gift cards issued in countries such as the United States and Britain.
Asia is an increasingly important market to Apple - operating revenue doubled in the past quarter year on year, surpassing Europe.
But previously only users in Australia, Japan and New Zealand in the Asia Pacific region could buy and download music and video, due to restrictions related to copyright and licensing issues.
Apple made no mention of China, its biggest market after the United States, where users can only access apps, and free content like podcasts.
The other Asian territories where iTunes is now available are Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.