At long last, the iTunes Store looks like it will be officially launching in Russia. For a few weeks now, we have heard rumblings that it may be launching very soon, some users have already seen songs for sale in music searches at extremely competitive prices. Now Apple has supposedly sent out invitations to a small number of people to attend an event in Moscow tomorrow; the news comes from a report by TechCrunch
A tipster has forwarded us an email, in Russian, inviting a small group of people to an iTunes event in Moscow on the evening of December 4. The email does not give much away, simply noting that team iTunes will be holding a musical evening, and that it’s a small, invitation-only affair, at one of the city’s swanky shopping centers, GUM, located on Moscow’s Red Square.
The email was sent out by one of Apple’s PR people in the country, Irina Efremova. We have contacted Apple to ask about the event and will update this post as we learn more. People have been anticipating a launch of iTunes in Russia for some time now. It was originally planned for the October of this year, and then delayed to November, according to sources cited by the RIA Novosti Russian news agency from November 20. That report had also said the launch was now “delayed indefinitely.”
The news that the iTunes Store will be launching in Russia will be welcome news, not only to the Russian public but to Apple too. Android phones dominate the market in Russia with iPhones having just 2% market share. If Apple could offer its iTunes music services, that would surely open the door to an increase in device sales as well as an increase in revenue from music sales.