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iTunes “Exciting Announcement” Digging

So I wrote a script to do some digging, and it turns out that the “exciting announcement” is being teased for these countries:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • UK
  • USA

Since it’s only being teased in some countries, I’m guessing it’s an iTunes Store thing. (A new purely iTunes-the-application feature would neither be released or announced right in the aftermath of iTunes 10.1 nor restricted to certain countries. An iTunes-the-application-working-with-the-Store feature might well be remote activated, though, like the make your own ringtone feature from a few years back.)

There’s no real pattern that I’ve been able to tell with regards to any existing iTunes Store feature. Greece and Luxembourg are Eurozone countries that already have the full-on music store but that are excluded. Portugal has the teaser but isn’t a country where Ping is available (according to Apple themselves).Apple’s documentation’s wrong; Portugal’s got Ping, to the delight of tens of people. (A Ping snark, not a Portugal snark.) Only a few of these countries have movie and TV show purchases or rentals.

There’s no pattern on which to build aside from “many full-on music iTunes stores [some only have the App Store] in big countries”. The inclusion of this many countries rules out a US-centric event, like a new iPhone carrier. The inclusion of countries that already have all or most iTunes features rules out “just” an expansion of an existing feature to every country in the list. (Why drum up hype in the US just to expand a feature to another country?) And while Apple might be good at hype, I also guess that the announcement will be suitably big. Apple.com is a valuable property; to take it up for even one day for a piddly announcement isn’t their style.

I guess we’ll just have to see.


  1. Note that Apple quietly launched the Apple TV and film rentals in quite a few of those countries last week. Not that any reputable news blog noticed.

    By millenomi · 2010.11.15 22:53

  2. Ping as been available in Portugal from day one, weird that the Apple document states otherwise.

    By Joao A. · 2010.11.15 22:55

  3. In fact I tested a few, and the only countries on that list where film rentals are not available are those served by the English-language “Rest of Europe” storefront (Belgium, Denmark, Portugal etc).

    What I mean was: many of those countries had a significant Store update last week. Why another? What could it be?

    By millenomi · 2010.11.15 22:58

  4. We have Ping in Portugal. The info in Apple’s page is wrong

    By Ricardo · 2010.11.15 22:59

  5. Free MobileMe for everybody?

    By Terry · 2010.11.15 23:01

  6. By the way: the announcement is also being prominently displayed on the home pages for most iTunes storefronts serving those countries: http://d.pr/Cq7Q.

    By millenomi · 2010.11.15 23:02

  7. What’s it look like the other way around? That is, what countries are not being teased?

    By Andrew Robulack · 2010.11.15 23:11

  8. What I find interesting about this whole thing is their choice of timezones. The California and New York timezones make sense, as does the Tokyo one, but why choose London for Europe ? Out of your list, only the UK, Ireland and Portugal are on that timezone as opposed to 12 countries on Central European Time.

    Also, they bothered to translate the names for the localized stores and yet did not change the timezones (i.e. Paris would make sense for the French page). I’m starting to think the clock faces are not insignificant.

    By Mick · 2010.11.15 23:22

  9. @millenomi The fact that the two sizeable (partly) German-speaking countries beside Germany, Switzerland and Austria, got movie rentals recently was covered in German-speaking online media.

    By El Aura · 2010.11.15 23:24

  10. Andrew: These 78 countries all have broken-out country sites linked from that Apple page and don’t have teasers.

    Argentina, Armenia, Bahrain, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Central Africa, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, F.Y.R. Macedonia, Greece, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Israel, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Mali, Malta, Marocco, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Panama, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan/Republic of China, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, Venezuela and Vietnam.

    Many of those just offer the iPhone from a local carrier.

    By Jesper · 2010.11.15 23:24

  11. Mick: In any case, this was most likely made by mass translating a Photoshop file. Strings are easier to substitute. Switching out the clocks would be a lot of manual labor.

    I’m as surprised as you at the choice of clocks, though, because I would have expected some sort of JavaScript countdown instead, even though one day is a bit short for those. Maybe there’s a meaning to the clock faces.

    By Jesper · 2010.11.15 23:29

  12. We’ve got movie and TV rentals in Germany, too.

    By Torsten · 2010.11.15 23:41

  13. I’m removing the mention of the US in the TV show rental sentence. The point is made anyway: there are just a few countries, far from most or every, with any TV shows or movies to rent at all.

    By Jesper · 2010.11.15 23:52

  14. Paul McCartney is on London time, which would make sense for a Beatles announcement. Can’t explain Tokyo, though.

    By Mark · 2010.11.16 03:15

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