Even though Apple’s App Store is available in Russia, the company’s music store has been absent from the list of features that Russian iPhone, iPad and iPod touch owners could access. According to an unnamed source, Apple will launch iTunes at a private event in Moscow event on Dec. 4.
According to TechCrunch, Apple sent an email to a small group of people by Russian PR affiliate Irina Efremova. The launch of the music store was originally slotted for October of this year, but was delayed to November 20.
Russians have had access to the App Store for years now. Interestingly, opposite to the U.S., basic iTunes has never been available in Russia. One reason may be due to the rampant level of piracy in that country. The Intellectual Property Alliance named Russia one of the worst offenders of illegal and unauthorized content.
Apple used to keep downloads locked down with DRM (Digital Rights Management) codes on all its purchased music. However, the company has since done away with the security measures thanks to a deal with Universal, Sony, Warner and EMI. Because of that, negotiations with Russian music labels had delayed the launch of iTunes in the country.
If iTunes really does launch tomorrow, Apple stands to see a significant increase in market share in Russia. Currently, Android owns the largest share of mobile devices there.