New iTunes Pass credit refill service now available in United States and several other countries

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Yesterday Apple rolled out its new iTunes Pass service to Japan, allowing users to use a Passbook card to add credit to an iTunes account from an Apple Retail Store. Starting today, the offer is also available in the United States and Australia. Users in Canada, Germany, and the UK are also reporting seeing the feature, though it’s not officially listed on Apple’s website for those countries just yet.

To take advantage of this new program, you need to use the iTunes Store app on an iOS device to obtain an iTunes Pass. You can get one of these by tapping the “Redeem” button at the bottom of the home page within the app. To use the card, you can visit an Apple Retail Store and ask a specialist to help you add credit to your account. The specialist can then scan the barcode on the Passbook card to immediately add credit to your account.

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Apple Retail to construct “Express Lanes” during overnight tonight

We have just learned that Apple retail stores are having an “overnight” tonight to setup new Express Lanes.  Apple has used these express lanes in the past to provide holiday shoppers a fast track to purchase Apple products and accessories.  The zone are typically staffed with several Apple Specialists and stock popular laptop models, every iPad and iPod model.

The fact that Apple is using the express lane again this year is a bit interesting because the new Apple Store app was released today, which adds self-checkout and in store pickup.

Alternatively, the brand new Hong Kong Apple store is so busy that it has a year-round express counter (above). Several tipsters have confirmed the overnight and hinted that there may be more in the coming weeks. Don’t get too excited though, this doesn’t mean new Apple products are on the horizon.  Subsequent overnights will probably used to install holiday marketing materials; large banners, easel poster, and device screen-savers.  Two more Express Lane images below… Read more