Russian iTunes Music begins showing up on the App Store at very low prices

Update, Nov 2o: RIA Novosti reported today, citing sources familiar with Apple’s product plans in Russia, that iTunes music in the country could be “delayed indefinitely” as Apple runs into issues getting necessary licensing from artists. Another report from Vedomosti claimed  iTunes senior executive Eddy Cue and iTunes Europe Director Ben King went to Russia for the launch originally scheduled for November 20. The newspaper also cited sources close to Apple as saying the launch is now scheduled for the first week of December, possibly to coincide with the launch of iPhone 5 in the country.

In September, a report from Russian language publication vedomosti.ru cited industry sources and noted Apple was preparing to launch iTunes music in Russia by the end of year. The report also noted that songs would be sold for less than their 99-cent U.S. counterparts, somewhere between 11- to 20 rubles each (roughly 35- to 65 cents USD). It appears Apple is getting ready to launch the service today, with several Russian readers reporting music is now searchable on the App Store in the country. The search provides users with a link to “Continue search in Store…”, and Twitter seems to confirm that many Russians can access music using this method.

Interestingly, as noted in previous reports, iPhones.ru confirmed songs are indeed listed for less than the U.S. store, with most songs currently selling for 15 rubbles (roughly 50 cents USD). We expect Apple to roll out full access the store in Russia shortly.

Siri leaks her own upcoming ability to speak Japanese

Siri is many things, but it seems she is not a good secret keeper. A few tipsters reached out and told us that Siri now speaks Japanese. Rumors earlier this month said Apple’s AI speech recognition interface would gain Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, and possibly Russian. It now appears that Japanese is about to be announced, perhaps at the iPad 3 announcement next month. There is no word yet on Chinese or Russian, but those are also likely coming soon.

When Siri was announced in October, Apple said that that additional languages would follow this year.  Apple’s Siri FAQ says that she will support Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish in 2012:

Language Support and Availability

Siri works exclusively on iPhone 4S. Siri understands and can speak the following languages:

  • English (United States, United Kingdom, Australia)
  • French (France)
  • German (Germany)

In 2012, Siri will support additional languages, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Italian, and Spanish.

Can I use Siri in any of these languages in other countries?

Yes. Siri can be enabled in any country, and you can choose to speak to it in English, French, or German. However, Siri is designed to recognize the specific accents and dialects of the supported countries listed above. Since every language has its own accents and dialects, the accuracy rate will be higher for native speakers.

Thanks Alex, AR and D.

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