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Apple Rolling Out iTunes Movie Content in New European Countries

Just as Apple is apparently planning to bring the iTunes Music Store to ten more European countries, the company also seems to be rolling out access to iTunes movie sales and rentals in a number of European countries where it already offers music content.

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The EU member states allegedly getting Apple’s music store include Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary which have a combined population of 60 million. As for the other seven EU member states getting iTunes, it’s anyone’s guess, but it’s worth mentioning that the UE markets where iTunes does not operate include Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Perhaps Apple will announce the iTunes Music Store expansion at its iPhone-related event next Tuesday. Meanwhile, reader Juri tipped us that iTunes movie rentals have just gone online in Finland, as you can see in the below screenshot. The Finnish iTunes store has no specific category for movie rentals yet, but it is possible to use the search feature to find and rent flicks for €3.99 (€4.99 for HD rentals, €13.99 per SD purchase).

It also looks like Apple is prepping to launch its movie store in Scandinavia and another reader, Frederik, says movie rentals and purchases hit the iTunes Denmark store. OneMoreThing.nl also spotted movies in the Dutch and Belgian iTunes Stores. Currently there are about 270 titles from 20th Century Fox, Universal and Buena Vista. Most movies are available for purchase or rent. No sign of TV shows yet. With that in mind, it’s easy to speculate that Apple TV may be showing up in those countries soon.

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The content expansions appear to be extending even beyond music and movies, with macprime.ch reporting [Google translation] that paid iBookstore content has just begun showing up in the Swiss store. The Swiss iBookstore had previously been limited to free content, primarily from Project Gutenberg.

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Unlike the App Store which operates in dozens of territories globally, Apple’s online music store is still plagued with limited availability. There has been no word from Apple when the store might expand. Steve Jobs in the past promised a pan-European iTunes Store without committing to a time frame. Even today, not all local iTunes stores have been localized yet and they often have different catalogs. Steve Jobs told the audience of developers and journalists at WWDC 2011 that Apple’s online-only music store sold 15 billion songs since its inception eight years ago. He noted the figure makes Apple the largest seller of music globally, in any format.

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