Apple Confirms iTMS Coming to Japan This Year

Apple Computer will launch a version of its iTunes Music Store (iTMS) in Japan by the end of this year, the president of Appleis Japanese division has told the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper.

Yoshiaki Sakito, president of Apple Japan, made the announcement on Tuesday in Tokyo. Mr. Sakito confirmed that the company is currently in talks with major CD companies over the number of songs to be provided on the iTMS and their prices.

Japan is Appleis largest international market and the iPod digital media device has been a resounding success, capturing the top three spots among best selling MP3 players, according to Nikkei Market Access.

Since April 2003, Apple has sold music through iTMS in the U.S. and 14 other countries at US$0.99, or about 107 yen, per song. Apple announced in early March it had sold over 300 million songs online. In the U.S., the service features more than one million songs and more than 9,000 audiobooks.

An Apple spokesperson at its corporate headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. was not immediately available for additional comment. Appleis standard policy is not to comment on unannounced products or services.

iTunes Music Store Key Dates
April 28, 2003Apple Launches iTunes Music Store
May 6, 2003One million songs sold on iTMS
May 14, 2003Two million songs sold on iTMS
June 23, 2003Five million songs sold on iTMS
September 8, 2003Ten million songs sold on iTMS
October 16, 2003Apple & Pepsi launch giveaway of 100 million free songs
October 20, 2003One million copies of iTunes for Windows downloaded in less than four days
November 6, 20031.5 million songs sold on iTMS in one week
December 15, 200325 million songs sold on iTMS
March 15, 200450 million songs sold on iTMS
April 28, 2004Over 70 million songs sold on iTMS
May 5, 20043.3 million songs sold on iTMS in one week
June 15, 2004Apple launches iTMS in UK, France & Germany
June 23, 2004iTMS in Europe sells 800,000 songs in first week
July 12, 2004100 million songs sold on iTMS
August 10, 2004iTMS catalog tops one million songs
October 14, 2004150 million songs sold on iTMS
October 26, 2004Apple launches iTMS in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain
November 30, 2004Apple launches iTMS in Canada
December 16, 2004200 million songs sold on iTMS
January 6, 2005Apple launches iTMS in Ireland
January 24, 2005250 million songs sold on iTMS
March 2, 2005300 million songs sold on iTMS
x xx, 2005xxx million songs sold on iTMS