As we just reported, Brazilian users had a pleasant surprise when visiting iTunes today: without fuss or fanfare, Apple has converted its reduced iTunes Store into a full-blown one, including music and movies. Well, Brazil wasn’t the only country to get additional iTunes features – so did 15 Spanish-speaking Latin American countries.
From Argentina to Panama, from Chile to Venezuela, iTunes’ users across the region can now enjoy Apple’s content of all types. In other words, they’ll be able to buy songs from iTunes Music Store and to rent or buy movies in its “Peliculas” section.
However, Spanish-speaking Latin American users won’t get access to iTunes Match. At the time we write, the service remains only accessible to subscribers in the US and in Brazil – as we reported, it was launched in the latest earlier today. Yet, we wouldn’t be surprised to see iTunes Match become available in additional countries sooner than later. Indeed, a quick look at Apple’s updated T&C’s in Chile reveals mentions of the service – but for now, users in these countries will have to wait.
For some unknown reason, another country which will have to wait is Uruguay: as spotted by one of our readers, the Uruguayan iTunes Store hasn’t been updated today, nor have the local terms and conditions. Unlike their Argentine and Brazilian neighbors, Uruguay’s 3.5 million inhabitants won’t be able to buy music or rent movies on iTunes.
There’s another reason why this Latin American launch has to be taken with a huge grain of salt: payments. In the vast majority of these countries, Apple’s prices are in dollars, not in local currency. Not only does it mean its users need a credit card, it also has to be an international one – something millions of Latin Americans don’t have, and a serious limitation to Apple’s potential market.
The main exception to this rule in Mexico, where Apple has been offering movie rentals for months, and where local users are already able to pay in Mexican pesos. This likely shows the direction in which Apple will soon go all across the region, but only time will tell when the company will be able to handle transactions in each country’s local currency.