Apple has opened its doors to Indian consumers and has made purchases possible on iTunes. Indian users of iOS devices can now purchase books, music and even rent movies using iTunes, Apple said in a press release.
The iTunes Store is widely used and loved in the United States as it is elsewhere, with convenient services where users can purchase tracks for as cheap as 99 cents. The service took really long to come to India and had not been accessible in Indian currency for this long.
iTunes comes to India
Users of devices such as the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch will now be able to purchase local and international music from the iTunes store. Single songs are priced anywhere between Rs 7 to Rs 15 and entire albums start from Rs 70. The store now features Bollywood and Tamil film tracks as well as international music.
Apple has also launched the iTunes Match service in the country. This service allows users to store all the music they’ve bought from sources other than iTunes to the cloud for easy accessibility. The Match service will cost Rs 1,200 a year, a decent price to pay for music lovers who cannot bear the thought of being away from their music collection.
A great feature that the iTunes Store offers Indian consumers is the option to rent out movies instead of purchasing them. For example, the Salman Khan starrer Ek Tha Tiger in HD, which is available for purchase for Rs 290, can be rented for a one time watch for Rs. 120. Non-HD movies are available for as low as Rs 190 for purchase and Rs 80 to rent.
“Movie fans can choose from a wide selection of films available for rent or purchase from the iTunes Store, with many available in stunning HD, from major studios including 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Pictures, as well as leading local distributors,” said the Apple Press Release.
Besides India, the iTunes Store has been thrown open to 55 other countries including Russia, Turkey and South Africa where customers can download DRM-free tracks from major labels and local acts.
Within India, iTunes Store will face competition from the likes of In.com, Gaana.com, Saavn and Dhingana.com as far as music streaming is concerned. iTunes will have to battle various other movie streaming sites within the country too.
iTunes has finally embraced Indian audiences
The new refurbished iTunes 11 was launched on November 29. Apple first announced the new iTunes for Mac and Windows at the iPhone launch event in September. Besides the design changes and the iCloud integration, the new iTunes features a new look for the online music, apps, TV and movie stores. It also features a new interface that keeps your favourite iTunes content at the forefront. With iCloud integration, music, movie and TV show purchases made on any iOS device or computer are displayed in your iTunes library. Apple claims the redesigned iTunes Store, App Store and iBookstore have been re-thought to make buying content on the iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac or PC simpler.
Earlier, the store featured only some free books and podcasts, and this move is bound to make purchasing movies and music convenient and easy for users apart from opening up a huge new market for Apple. The move is a welcome one and something Indian audiences had been waiting for for the longest time. It may not curb the rampant piracy of movies and music in India immediately, but it does seem like a step in that direction.