Apple launched its iTunes Store in 12 Asian markets, giving access to millions of songs and movies including local favorites, but regional giants China and India were not on the list.
The move by California-based Apple, which has sold more than 16 billion songs worldwide on the platform, opens it up further to growing Asian economies where its devices have proved massively popular.
The iTunes Store is now open to consumers with credit cards issued in Brunei, Cambodia, Hong Kong, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.
It was already available in Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Customers will now be able to choose from more than 28 million songs, including hits by Asian stars, as well as rent or buy movies from studios such as 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers.
Apple’s Asian expansion, which followed the December launch of the iTunes Store in Brazil and 15 other Latin American markets, now makes commercial sense despite concerns over piracy, another analyst said.
Apple is estimated to have shipped 35 million iPhones and iPads in the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan in 2011.
Apple’s latest earnings announced in April showed it made a profit of $11.6 billion on revenues of $39.2 billion in the March quarter, thanks largely to booming demand for iPhones and iPads in Asia including China.